on 12 November 2005
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.
on 1 December 2005
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.
on 13 February 2006
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.
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.
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.
on 16 March 2006
Essentially the title sums it up. This film is immaculately animated, with reactions and emotions portrayed through the voices coming across well on screen. You may hear the likes of John Cleese and Ricky Gervais, which adds some depth to the characters instantly. I found myself willing on Valiant, which for me is important in a film - relating to, or caring about at least the lead role!
This film is a good one for kids and adults alike, and extremely easy-going - great if you don't want to think too much, and just be entertained.
on 6 August 2006
Through the use of CGI this sweet story about patriotic pigeons brings smiles and occasional laughs to the heart of the viewing audience.
Its an interesting concept for the animation industry to preach through dopy creatures in pigeons about loyalty to your country. Using this method many audiences may fail to take it seriously. It is comedy genre but nevertheless you would have thought the film would want to be taken seriously on some level, especially with such heavy issues as those.
Valiant centres on patriotism and brings frequent emphasis to `what is right' in society. The movie preaches through the brave little pigeon `Valiant' who wishes to enrol in the Royal Pigeon Service.
Highly predictable and unfunny for many older audiences but younger audiences will love the film as the pigeons have frequent meetings with physical objects, rude child centred humour and the general movements of the animated characters combine to make much lovable animals.
The effects are stunning. The CGI used to create the film are used to full effect as we have many different characters such as the Falcons, Pigeons and scenery all combining to create a visually stunning film. The attention to detail for the scenery has to be admired.
The story was well thought out but at many scenes the plot failed to captivate the audience. The majority of action scenes are predictable and over exaggerated but all combine to create a fast moving and chucklesome comedy animation for all ages though the film succeeds in winning the hearts of younger audiences.
The voices of Gervais, McGregor and Cleese are all recognized and are funny, especially from Cleese who audiences will immediately recognize his Fawlty Towers routine is used occasionally to bring a smile to the faces of audiences. Gervais to uses his typical laid back attitude to one of the more likable characters Bugsy.
The stereotypes of villains were probably predictably going to be Falcons but are still interesting as they dive their claws into the central plot. The lexis used by these villains is typical but believable and enjoyable to witness how the 'good guys (or pigeons) deal with them
Having the film in different settings such as the training camp was a very effective method. In the camp we get to see human elements such as weight lifts changed into animal elements where they use apples instead of weights. These ideologies are very cleverly thought of and bring the occasional chuckle.
A highly over-exaggerated ending that will make viewers question the realism of it but highyl fast and exciting
Not a buyer as we see more interesting CGI family adventures such as 'The Incredibles' but worth watching with the family
on 20 November 2012
last year the 11yr old finished yr six at primary school and the last project at school was ww2. he was very interested in it and wanted to learn more. we visited a r.a.f visitor centre and they showed part of this film to show how animals played their part in the wars. we got it from amazon as we couldn't find it in the shop, valiant is a heart warming, very funny story, when you watch it you'll see where "sabotage" comes from, very,very funny but with a very powerful understanding behind it. we've now seen it since we got it 5 times and we laugh hard each time brill, so much fun, thankyou amazon for quick delivery too x
on 10 December 2012
i have seen hundreds of films with my six year old and this is in the top ten. good story line and bits of adult humour. good price, fast delivery. i recommend it.
on 6 February 2013
Having been to Bletchley where they have a special room devoted to the pidgeons , it reminded me of this film. It was just great to watch, very entertaining .