Wonder Woman Parent Guide
This female super hero origin tale stands tall above other movies with comic book pedigrees
Parent Movie Review
World War I is raging. Everyone is aware of the horrifying conflict. Everyone, except those who live on the remote island of Themyscira. In the too-beautiful-to-be-true land dwells a community of women, members of the Amazon tribe from Greek mythology. All are adept fighters and continually train for an impending battle. The only child amongst them is Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta, the ruler of the island.
The immortal women have seen battles for generations. Feared by men, they were granted sanctuary on Themyscira by the gods. But when Captain Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) plane crashes into the ocean surrounding their idyllic sanctuary, the now adult Diana (Gal Gadot) discovers the reality of what’s happening in the outside world. Convinced the conflict is caused by the influence of the Greek god of war, she persuades the serviceman to take her with him so she can confront Ares and kill the evil deity with a special weapon.
Diana soon discovers war among mortals is a complex scenario. Arriving on the front lines she witnesses the horrific effects of the political confrontation. Men, women and children, many of whom are civilians, are seen with bloody injuries—some with missing limbs. Frequent battle scenes depict shootings, stabbings and bombings, however the violence falls short of explicit or gratuitous.
Perhaps more disconcerting are scenes depicting the German military’s experiments with poisonous gas mixtures. Concocted by the chemist Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya) under the direction of General Ludendorf (Danny Huston), we see their lethal clouds being tested on human laboratory subjects and later, on the population of a small community.
Amid this chaos, Wonder Woman stands as the voice of reason, most likely echoing the sentiments many of us feel when we see hate and anger lead to bloodshed and the killing of innocent victims. Determined to find a way to stop the slaughter, her deft skills at dodging bullets with armored bracelets and a blast-proof shield demonstrate a desire to utilize defensive tactics as much as possible. However, once faced with her ultimate foes, she considers lethal force to be warranted.
Gal Gadot depicts this comic book hero with an admirable balance of bravery, compassion and determination to engage the enemy, if necessary. The script also avoids letting this story become a one-note ode to feminism. Yes, Gadot depicts a powerful female character, yet in many scenes she offers a positive role model who is willing to work with and accept the input of men. (This extends to her having romantic feelings toward a male, resulting in a moment of implied sexuality.) These traits contrast with some male action-heroes who view women as either victims or pride-boosting ornamentation.
Wonder Woman’s origin story provides lessons about the importance of free will and being able to make choices – for both good and bad. It also reminds us that we are all susceptible to the influence of evil. In this case, those negative whisperings come from the Greek god Ares—however no matter what label you may give it, there is an obvious alignment with other religious beliefs.
With a good dose of humor amongst the timely themes of how we are so easily persuaded to hate, Wonder Woman stands tall above other recent movies with comic book pedigrees.Directed by Patty Jenkins. Starring Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Chris Pine. Running time: 141 minutes. Theatrical release June 2, 2017. Updated April 24, 2020
Rating & Content Info
Why is Wonder Woman rated PG-13? Wonder Woman is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content.
Violence: Scenes of battlefield violence and the overall horrors of war are depicted throughout this movie. We see images of soldiers, civilians (including children) and animals with bloody wounds and missing limbs. Women are seen training for battle using weapons such as swords, bows and arrows, along with hand-to-hand combat. Patrons in a bar begin fighting and punching, one person is knocked unconscious. A chemist experiments with different poisonous gases and uses humans as test subjects; we see a person locked in a small glass chamber wearing a gas mask, the gas is released and the mask begins breaking down and the subject presumably dies. In a later scene, a similar gas is inflicted upon a community of people: we see people of all ages falling to the ground after breathing the gas. A captured solider commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule: we see the body with foam around the mouth.
Sexual Content: A man and woman enter a bedroom and begin kissing passionately, we later see them leaving the same building together, implying sexual relations. A man is seen in a pool of water, when a woman enters he stands up—although we only see him from the waist up his embarrassment implies he’s naked. The woman (who has never seen a man) asks if all specimens of his gender look like him, to which he replies, “I’m above average.” Men briefly expose their underwear to gain warmth from a fire. An animated sequence, done in the style of classical paintings, briefly depicts nude men and women.
Profanity: A few mild profanities are heard and a term of deity is used as an expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are seen drinking in bars, often to avoid stress and, on one occasion, to celebrate victory. A character puts a pipe in his mouth as a prop.
Page last updated April 24, 2020
Wonder Woman Parents' Guide
Diana’s mother is opposed to having the young girl learn how to fight. However, her mother’s sister feels it is necessary to teach the child how to defend herself. What do you feel is an appropriate way to help children learn defense tactics, while not instilling unnecessary fear?
Wonder Woman seeks peace, yet she still resorts to violence in some situations. What does she do to try and resolve conflict without the use of force? Is she successful? Do her methods of dealing with enemies differ from other action “heroes”?
In the early scenes of this movie, it is implied that men are more evil than women. Do you think this is true? Why might people come to this conclusion? Wonder Woman first appeared in comic book form in 1941. How might that timing bias the character’s creator toward the role of men in the world?
How do women dress for battle in the movies (and comic books)? Does their attire usually differ from the way men dress? Why do you think these stereotypes have endured? Do you feel these clothing choices empower women? Or do you think they objectify them?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Diana has another narrative arc when she rescues a mortal with unusual gifts in Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. It's also available as a graphic novel.
Greek gods get involved in World War I in Julie Berry’s novel Lovely War. This tale follows a British pianist, a British architect, a Harlem-born American soldier, and a Belgian orphan, whose stories are being told on Mount Olympus by the goddess Aphrodite.
Never heard of the Amazons before? Here’s a great source of information for you – The Amazons: Lives & Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World. Author Adrienne Mayor doesn’t stop with the Amazons but examines warrior women across the world from the Mediterranean to China.
There are plenty of real life wonder women. Sam Maggs has written about them: Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History.
Young readers wanting stories about powerful women can begin with Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess, with its humorous tale of a young lady who does NOT need to be saved from a dragon. Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking series features a strong-willed (and strong-muscled) girl who has exciting adventures.
The most recent home video release of Wonder Woman movie is September 19, 2017. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Wonder Woman
Release Date: 19 September 2017
Wonder Woman releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following extras:
- Epilogue: Etta’s Mission – Etta Candy gets the boys back together for a secret mission that could impact humanity’s future.
- Crafting the Wonder – Wonder Woman finally comes to life in her first, breathtaking solo film. Explore the journey to create an adventure worthy of DC’s greatest warrior.
- A Director’s Vision
- Warriors of Wonder Woman – Witness the creation of the Amazon army as the women of - “Wonder Woman” transform emotionally and physically into the world’s most powerful and heroic warriors.
- The Trinity – Filmmakers and comic book creators explore the legend of Wonder Woman and how she stands shoulder to shoulder with Superman and Batman to create the pillars of the DC Universe.
-The Wonder Behind the Camera – Meet the women behind the wonder as they welcome a group of aspiring filmmakers on set for an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Finding the Wonder Woman Within – Feel the power of Wonder Woman as award-winning poets and inspiring public figures reveal the impact and importance of DC’s greatest heroine.
- Extended Scenes
- Blooper Reel