The Wonder Woman trailer hit Comic Con International In San Diego with the force of an invisible jet. It’s all kinds of fantastic, featuring fierce female warriors, scads of action, Gal Gadot in all her glory, and even some humor! But can we talk about that curious opening scene?
Fade In: on a pristine beach. Off in the distance are two figures: one splayed on on the sand, the waves lapping at their feet, the other kneeling over them. Cut to and over the shoulder shot of Wonder Woman, gently stroking the face of a handsome man, swept ashore. It’s shot for shot Ariel’s first moment with Eric from The Little Mermaid.
And Twitter was quick to provide screenshot comparisons.
The Little Mermaid // Wonder Woman pic.twitter.com/TYRCu03pM6— Sara (@KryptionianBabe) July 24, 2016
It can’t be coincidence, right? Here’s what I’m thinking. Director Patty Jenkins knows this movie is one that women (especially) have been waiting for. Women in their twenties and thirties grew up with Disney’s The Little Mermaid, deeply adoring Ariel and her mermaid-out-of-water tale. We dreamed of being a part of her world. So, maybe this nod is Warner Bros’ way of recognizing the importance of this superhero movie moment, and promising us a tale that’ll hit us as hard as when Ariel hit the high note in “Part of Your World.”
On a story level, The Little Mermaid allusion sets up a crisp comparison between Wonder Woman’s story and Ariel’s. Both are beings of legend that humans assume aren’t real. Both have never seen a human man before. Both risk themselves to dive into the human world, though to very different ends. And like The Little Mermaid, Wonder Woman is guaranteed to have a huge impact on generations of girls.
Here’s hoping it lives up to that responsibility.
Kristy Puchko just got back from Comic Con, and is still deep in the afterglow of multiple nerdgasms.