Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition

| May 15, 2017

When I think back on the first wave of DC Universe Animated Original Movies, Wonder Woman (2009) may not stand out to me as the most ambitious or even the most impressive. Of the first six animated DC pictures released between 2007 and 2009, though, Wonder Woman has always stuck out to me as perhaps the most tightly structured and rewarding standalone narrative of the bunch. Sure, it goes through the motions of relating Wonder Woman’s traditional origin story, creation from clay and all. But it manages to do so even as it naturally develops Ares as the big bad for the film’s epic climax.

The story plays out incredibly simply in that regard: a disgustingly misogynistic Steve Trevor crashes onto the Amazonian island of Themyscira. Diana wins the right to take him back to “the world of Man,” and as she leaves to do so she’s given the added task of looking for the escaped God of War, Ares. It’s a straightforward narrative, but an effective one given the film’s inherently limiting running time of 74 minutes—a running time not suitable at all for some of the more sprawling, epic tales the animated DC Universe Originals attempted to tell. Looking back on these last 10 years of straight-to-video animated DC features, there are honestly few that hold up quite so well as the beautifully simplistic Wonder Woman, which crams a lot of superheroics into a small span of time without overcomplicating things with a glut of subplots.

The film has also always stood out to me as possessing one of the greatest voice casts of the animated DC Originals. It features the voice talents of Keri Russell as Wonder Woman, Firefly’s Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor, and Alfred Molina as Ares, as well as Rosario Dawson, David McCallum, Virginia Madsen, and Oliver Platt. Simply put, there’s a lot of talent here!

With the new, live action Wonder Woman film coming to theaters this summer, it makes sense that Warner Bros. would want to capitalize on the visibility of Wonder Woman in the home video market if possible and I’d argue they’ve no Wonder Woman title better suited to cross-promote the character than Wonder Woman (2009). Thus, they’ve wisely chosen this as the time to re-release the 2009 animated film on home video in the Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition. The Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition will be available on May 16, 2017 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital HD, DVD, and in a Blu-ray Combo Pack, which includes the Blu-ray, DVD, and a Digital HD code.

If you already own Wonder Woman on Blu-ray in its original 2009 Blu-ray release, I can’t say double-dipping here is necessarily warranted here if all you’re looking for is an updated Blu-ray disc. Though I often declare special edition releases of any kind to be no-brainer double-dip material for serious fans, the new content on this disc amounts to merely an additional 10 minutes of material in the form of a “What Makes a Wonder Woman” featurette. While this featurette does a terrific job of caputiring what makes Wonder Woman so unique and enduring as a cultural icon, it obviously winds up covering some of the same ground as the previous edition’s 50+ minutes-worth of featurettes.

The only other notable differences between the Commemorative and the previous edition are the vastly improved cover art of the Commemorative Edition and an obvious lack of bonus cartoons on the Commemorative Edition. Though the four bonus cartoons have indeed gotten the axe, the two featurettes from the previous Blu-ray release (“Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream” and “Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth”) do return on the Commemorative Edition along with the original creative team commentary. The Commemorative Edition combo pack also includes copies of the film, as mentioned above, on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, whereas my old copy came with a Digital Copy disc and Blu-ray only. So what this release lacks in content with the removal of the four bonus cartoons, Warner Bros. makes up for by offering us a multitude of viewing options.

About the Author:

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).
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