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Is 'Wonder Woman' a kid-friendly movie?

Updated on June 4, 2017
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Characters

Diana, played by Gal Gadot, is the princess of Themyscira. She is the champion of the Amazons, and while she is never called this in the movie, is Wonder Woman.

Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, is an American solider working as a spy.

Queen Hippolyta, played by Connie Nielsen, is the leader of the Amazons and Diana's mother.

General Antiope, played by Robin Wright, is Hippolyta's sister and the Amazons' greatest warrior. She trains Diana to become an even better warrior.

Dr. Maru/Doctor Poison, played by Elena Anaya, and General Ludendorff, played by Danny Huston, are working together to keep the war from ending.

Ares, the god of war, is the major antagonist.

Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder. The highly anticipated "Wonder Woman" artfully displays all of this in the origin story of the title character. It is an amazing movie- not just an amazing superhero movie- because these four elements are skillfully weaved throughout the film.

As with most superhero movies, there is a ton of marketing to children, including Barbie dolls of the main characters. But, with the PG-13 rating, some parents may be concerned there's something that isn't appropriate for children excited for Wonder Woman's first solo film.

First of all, this is a war film, like "Captain America: the First Avenger." In fact, there are several similarities between the two films, which are obvious right away to anyone who's seen the Marvel film. We see injured soldiers. We see fighting, and while arrows and bullets go through bodies, blood is only seen as a character is getting or has had medical attention.

Plus, major characters, including good guys and those we become attached to, die.These deaths are emphasized by the main character's pain-filled reactions.

There is also some sexually suggestive material, which may not be as obvious to younger viewers. However, there is one scene in which a male character is naked, and only has his hands to cover his privates as he talks to a clothed female character. This scene began to show the differences between the Amazons' world and mankind's world, which are continued when the hero is told she's naked, even though she's perfectly comfortable walking around London in her iconic armored uniform.

The movie is almost entirely a flashback, brought on by Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) sending Diana, played by Gal Gadot, the original of the photo of her as Wonder Woman with a small band of soldiers in World War I. We are taken on a journey to Themyscira, the paradise island where the Amazons live and train in secrecy from the rest of the world.

In this part of the movie, a major part of Wonder Woman's origin is altered, but the idea behind it is still there. Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta, is still reluctant to allow her daughter to become the hero she is destined to be, and Diana still becomes the champion of the Amazons.

Themyscira is everything a fan wants it to be, and the details in the costumes make costume designers who put tiny logos all over the superhero's costume in other movies look lazy. The Amazons' fighting is powerful, yet graceful- there is a beauty to everything they do, as Diana continues to show throughout the movie. The only reason Diana leaves is to kill Ares to end the war that Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, tells the Amazons about while under the influence of the golden lasso.

Diana's wonder is shown throughout the scenes in London, as she is thrilled to see a baby for the first time or is impressed by her first taste of ice cream. There is some subtle homage paid to Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman, as she struggles to find appropriate clothes to fit in. She is even handed glasses to wear, although as Etta Candy notes, the accessory does not hide how beautiful Diana is.

(Another subtle moment is when Diana first fully reveals the Wonder Woman costume. She turns to pull the pin out of her hair and put on the tiara, then completes the motion as she removes her cloak and other disguising clothing.)

While she knows nothing about man's modern world, she shows her wisdom in her book knowledge. In fact, Diana impresses men a couple of times with her ability to read and speak every language.

The movie also respects the wisdom of the viewer by not over repeating and explaining ideas and themes.

Gadot does an amazing job of showing all of Diana's qualities and emotions, skillfully mastering the character as Christopher Reeve did with Superman. The only artistic issue was with some of the lasso CGI looking too much like CGI.

"Wonder Woman" is in every way the movie fans have been waiting for. Parents considering introducing their princess-fan child to superheroes with this film will see Merida, Ariel, Belle and even a little Elsa in Diana. She shows you can have power, grace, wisdom and wonder in one package, and that you can end a war with love.

For anyone who wants a quick preparation for the movie, I recommend watching the first two episodes of the "Wonder Woman" television series and the "Hawk and Dove" episode of "Justice League Unlimited." (Both are available on YouTube or for purchase on Amazon, if you don't already have the DVDs in your home library.)

And, while there are female-only screenings of the film, it certainly isn't just for the girls. My 10-year-old Batman fan who was named after Superman, loved the movie and downloaded Wonder Woman's theme music for his morning alarm.

5 stars for Wonder Woman

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