Valiant 2005

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(63) IMDb 5.6/10
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Inspired by the true-life story of carrier pigeons who were trained to carry vital information for the Allied forces across the English Channel during World War II, this computer-animated adventure comedy focuses on Valiant (voice of Ewan McGregor), a wood pigeon who has volunteered to do his part for England during the war. While Valiant believes in the cause, he's not exactly a quick study in his training under a no-nonsense sergeant (voice of Jim Broadbent), and his new pal Bugsy (voice of Ricky Gervais), a vermin-carrying former denizen of Trafalgar Square, fares even worse in the courage department. However, when one of the key British birds, Mercury (voice of John Cleese), is captured by notorious Nazi falcon Von Talon (voice of Tim Curry), Valiant and his crew must spring into action to keep the lines of communication open in time for D-day. Along the way, Valiant also finds time to romance avian nurse Victoria (voice of Olivia Williams) and French resistance agent Charles De Girl (voice of Sharon Horgan).

Starring:
Rik Mayall, Ricky Gervais
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature universal
Runtime 1 hour 13 minutes
Starring Rik Mayall, Ricky Gervais, Ewan McGregor, Tim Curry, John Cleese
Director Gary Chapman
Studio ENTERTAINMENT IN VIDEO
Rental release 7 November 2005
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By P. Bennett on 12 Nov 2005
Format: DVD
Valiant truly has something to offer all age groups in the family. Kids will appreciate the animation and feel good factor about the film whilst adults may find themselves sniggering at the odd joke themselves. This light hearted animation boasts a top voice cast including Ewan McGregor as the small but spirited homing pidgeon, Valiant, who inevitably saves the day along with his friends, a band of misfits voiced by Ricky Gervais, John Cleese and other British film stars.
The story is based around the role of the homing pidgeon in the second world war with Britain reliant on it's Royal Homing Pidgeon Service (RHPS) in order to keep contact with the French resistance. Dropped in behind enemy lines, Valiant and his compatriots must deliver a critical message from the resistance to head office in Britain all the time operating against the enemy, a group of falcons. Very much an underdog story this is a heart-warming tale capable of producing a smile to a viewer of any age. Ricky Gervais has a tendency to produce the most laughs and he plays the socially unfit yet loveable 'Bugsy'.
My only negative comment would be that occassionally you feel the animators have missed a possible trick or two with the expression of their characters decreasing the impact of the comedy present. Nevertheless it's a film suitable for all and though it lasts only an hour and ten minutes there are a reasonable amount of extras present on the DVD for exploration.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Papin on 1 Dec 2005
Format: DVD
I sat down to this DVD with no idea what it was about other than my husband thought it looked cute. I was dubious and doubtful, but it ended up bringing tears to my eyes (although I cry easily anyway!).
This is the story of a brave WW II British homing pigeon, named Valiant, and his quest to get his message back home despite difficult situations. He is part of Squad F of the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, and after one of his comrades is trapped by enemy falcons, notably General Von Talon, it is up to Valiant to get the message home.
I had no idea that over 50% of all the medals awarded to animal war heros in WW II went to homing pigeons. I didn't even know that animals were given medals during the war, and I can tell you that I was happy to see 2 or 3 cats had received medals as well.
A feel-good movie. The French mouse Charles La Girl is a fantastic secondary character worth the price of the DVD alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Feb 2006
Format: DVD
There is nothing big, show-stopping or grabbing about Valiant, but it's an entertaining, well-animated and colourful romp that the whole family can enjoy.
It's World War II. Pigeons are being used to deliver important messages, but their attempts are being hampered by persistant falcons. The recruits are falling like flies.
A small pigeon named Valiant goes to London to sign up for the service. He gets in and ends up being placed in Squad F, the lowest of the low, along with a rag-tag bunch of other pigeons. But he proves that it's not the size of your wingspan that counts, but your spirit.
I found the film to be too fast-paced in places where more dialogue and substance was needed. It all seemed to flash before my eyes much faster than I would have liked. And some of the voice acting, especially Valiant's, grated on my nerves after a very short while. I am not impressed by big names if they're just there for show!
But this is a gutsy, overlooked little charm that's at least worth a glance. It doesn't promise to stand out in the crowd, but it might just make you smile.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Feb 2007
Format: DVD
This is an animated adventure about heroic homing pigeons who are fighting for freedom during WW2.

Because the standard of animated films is getting so high, these films have to be very good indeed to impress adults. I thought it was OK the first time I watched it with my children, though no better than that. However, as I write this review my children are currently watching it for the third time at their request. Holding the attention of a pair of five year olds for the length of even a short film (it's about 76 minutes) is quite an achievement.

The title character is a tiny pigeon, voiced by Ewan McGregor, who is determined to be a hero. He joins the Royal Homing Pigeon service, and finds himself serving with a band of misfits who have to get messages through in the face of the german falcons.

The cast and plot takes the mickey out of many war stories, and fans of wartime comedies such Blackadder goes Forth, 'Allo 'Allo, and especially "It ain't half hot, Mum" will recognise characters from these shows reincarnated as pigeons.

The voice cast, which also includes Hugh Laurie, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, and John Cleese, do a professional and sometimes very amusing job of recreating all the wartime film stereotypes.

At the very end of the film shows a short written statment is displayed about the true history of animal bravery during world war 2, which I found strangely moving.

I don't think this film would have been great value for money if bought at the original full price. However, having initially rented it, and then on establishing that my children liked it, put it on the list to buy when it became available cheaply, I'm happy that the pleasure they gained from watching it did justify the relatively limited outlay.
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