The whole world is looking for a hero, and it's up to a little pigeon named Valiant to step up and bravely serve his country. Valiant (Ewan McGregor) and his fine, feathered friends take to the sky on a wing and a prayer t... more »o prove that it's not your wingspan but the size of your spirit that truly counts. Together this rag-tag squadron of birdbrains engages in hilarious aerial adventures at a spitfire pace. From the first bumbling day of basic training through the final feather-raising mission, the flock of comical characters swoops their way toward victory. From the producer of SHREK and SHREK 2, VALIANT delivers stunning animation, a top-flight voice cast, and an action-packed story loaded with laughs. It's a soaring family comedy that truly earns its wings.~« less
Cute film - but the actual history is filled with greater adventure.
1 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Great for little kids
Kristen C | So Cal | 07/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've read some of the worse reviews here and frankly I'm tired of those people who expect every animated film that comes out to live up to the adult-friendly nature of Shrek or The Incredibles. If you want that kind of film then by all means go put your Shrek, Shrek II or whatever you love the most in the DVD player and watch it over and over again because you'll never be happy with anything else.
The animation here is actually quite good, the plot is simple and easy to understand: young go-getter wants to make good for his country and he and a motley crew of fellow homing pigeons go to enemy lines to retrieve information that can change the outcome of the war. Yes it's formulaic and easy to predict what will happen, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.
Ewan McGregor is a little vocally hyper but acceptable as the pipsqueeky, small-in-stature but but tall-in-character Valiant. John Cleese does his usual brilliant, dry British humor shtick as a senior homing pigeon caught behind enemy lines. Tim Curry hams it up as usual as the evil ring-leader falcon. But my favorite characters were the highbrow, putting-on-airs humor of Hugh Laurie's Lofty and Ricky Gervais' hilarious, ill-bred but heart-of-gold Bugsy. I really laughed out loud with their lines, more than any other point in the movie.
I read a review elsewhere that says this film is aimed more at "older folks" and spoofs WWII movies of years gone by, but my 3-year old daughter loves this film! And some have said it's too short, but I think it's the perfect length for youngsters to watch. Having seen it about 20 times in the last two weeks I'm not bored with it at all.
I enjoy the cultural references to England and the WWII era, and I also appreciate that, in a way, this is exposing my kids, young as they are, to a very important time in our history. Perhaps someday they will correlate their history lessons with this film and something will gel because of seeing this version of history, because the fact is, homing pigeons were really used in WWII."
There will be awards, parades, and commemorative stamps!
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 04/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I don't really understand the lukewarm reaction to this film, as I found Valiant to be an excellent animated film. The story is both interesting and compelling, the voice actors do a great job, there's plenty of comedy from start to finish, and I thought the animation itself was quite good. There's too much emphasis these days on high-tech, fancy animation - sure, it can be very cool, but a cartoon with a good story and wonderful characters doesn't need the fanciest new animation. In fact, a good story can get lost in too much CGI wizardry, and I for one like a more traditional look. I don't mean to say the animation here is simplistic because it's not; it's just not as fancy as some viewers apparently wanted it to be. This isn't The Matrix; it's a movie-length cartoon.
The setting is 1944. With World War II still raging, the Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Brigade, having suffered extensive losses delivering important messages to and from enemy lines, is looking for a few good pigeons. Valiant (voiced wonderfully by Ewan McGregor) is determined to leave the nest and prove himself, especially if it means serving alongside heroes such as the celebrated Gutsy (Hugh Laurie). No one thinks he can make it (he's not even "yea" high, for one thing), but he's determined to prove everyone wrong and do his part in the fight for freedom. Arriving in London, he meets up with a smelly old con pigeon named Bugsy (Ricky Gervais), who sort of accidentally signs up for service alongside him. They both fit right in to the band of misfits who make up Squadron F (Lofty, the intellectual, blue-blood and two brothers sporting more brawn than brain). Unfortunately, it falls to this lot - even before their training is complete - to take on the mission that, if successful, may well win the war for the Allies. It will be highly dangerous, though, as they must avoid the enemy's deadly falcons, led by the formidable Von Talon (Tim Curry).
Is it predictable? Yes, of course it is. It's a family-friendly, G-rated cartoon, after all. Any young child can understand the story. The only problem I had with the film was its rather short running time of 76 minutes. The big scenes at the end do feel a tad rushed, and one can only wonder why they couldn't add in a few more minutes to round things off a little more effectively. This, however, is a small complaint on my part, as I found this movie immensely entertaining.
I was especially pleased by the note at the end of the film acknowledging the important contribution different animals actually did perform in World War II - especially carrier pigeons, who won 24 Dickens Medals for their heroic service. I would encourage Valiant fans to read a little about such avian heroes as GI Joe, who saved the British forces occupying an Italian town from American bombing, Cher Ami, who (despite being shot in both the chest and the leg) delivered a message that saved forces trapped behind enemy lines from devastating friendly fire, and many other unsung non-human war heroes."
A Kid's Movie that REALLY is for KIDS!
T. Sherwood | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Finally they made a movie that REALLY is for KIDS! I thought that this movie was SO cute and kept my 4 boys entertained - without the VERY inappropriate ADULT content that is usually in "kids" movies.
to the other reviewers who that that this movie was dumb- No, this movie is probably not a movie that adults will want to watch over and over again- but I am sure that your kids will - and that's who the movie is for right?"
Not Too Shabby
Tucker | Canada | 11/10/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of British humor. As a Canadian, I feel a little more in tune with the British way of life, and I think that's why Valiant was so funny.
Firstly, Ewan McGregors performance in Valiant was a thousand times better than his lacklustre performance in that peice of Fox trash, Robots.
The inclusion of Ricky Gervais, still hot off his BBC series "The Office", which is now a successful NBC program, was a good choice. His attitude for the supporting role was just what the film needed. Add in John Cleese, Jim Broadbent and Tim Curry, and you have a grade-A BRITISH film. I feel it didn't hit well with "foreign" audiences, as much as it did in the UK.
Top that off with a pathetic marketing campaign, it's no wonder it didn't do well.
Now, as for any dissident critics? Meh, they're de-sensitised by Dreamworks and Fox right now, who feel they can just pop out a CGI movie every 6 months and still wow an audience.
Valiant is a good family film dealing with subjects that children never can grasp though film without being horrified."
A "Valiant" Effort
K. Fontenot | The Bayou State | 01/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I often wonder why some people automatically assume that if a computer-animated Disney film isn't done by Pixar, then it's no good. "Chicken Little" was trashed by the critics, but it was a wonderful family feature that was fun to watch for young and old alike. "The Wild," though not as good as "Chicken Little," was a solid family film that took a lot of flack for being similar to "Madagascar." And here's "Valiant," an animated tale that never had a chance in the realm of Pixar vs. Disney.
It's really a fun tale that's short, to the point, and full of wonderful voice talents. Critics say that it's too formulaic and downright boring at times and yes, the tale of a small, seemingly insignificant person stepping up to do heroic things isn't original, but it's delivered here in fine fashion. Young Valiant wants to do his part to secure the freedom of his country during WWII. He signs up with the Royal Homing Pigeon Service to deliver secret and urgent messages to the Allies from the French Resistance. He heads up a bungling line-up of brutes, well-to-dos and Bugsy, a smelly but heartfelt friend that Valiant picks up along the way to join the service. The evil Nazi falcon, Von Talon, and his interceptors have picked the homing pigeons clean, leaving only Valiant and his buds to retrieve a crucial message for the Allies. Can Valiant and his friends overcome the odds and save jolly ol' England? You have to watch to find out.
As stated before, there are plenty of wonderful voice talents in this film. Ewan McGregor provides the voice of Valiant, and does so with youthful exuberance. Hugh Laurie voices Gutsy, champion of the homing pigeons. Tim Curry is devilishly fun as Von Talon. Ricky Gervais (Bugsy), John Hurt (Felix), and John Cleese (Mercury) head up the rest of a fine cast of voice talents.
The animation is great. Though nothing groundbreaking is found here (excepting the chase scene involving Valiant and Von Talon, which I thought was wonderful), the animation holds up very well to most other computer animated flicks of today. The music is fun as well. There are a few deaths (offscreen) that parents might have to explain to their children, but they are brief and do not happen to the main characters.
One thing that I really enjoyed about this film is that it gives youngsters a brief bit of history about World War II. Granted, it doesn't flesh out the actions at Normandy, but it might trigger your child's interest in history, which can't be a bad thing. The mention of the Dickin Medal at the end of this flick is also an interesting fact to know.
This isn't the greatest Disney flick ever made. However, there's plenty here for both children and adults to enjoy, and you'll be kicking yourself for not checking this movie out earlier. It's a nice family film and will easily earn its spot on your family DVD shelf. I highly recommend it."