Great animation and very amusing – highly recommended
The title character (voiced by Ewan McGregor) is a small but plucky wood pigeon keen to contribute to the war effort by joining the renowned Royal Homing Pigeon Service (RHPS), which flies dangerous missions across the channel by delivering top-secret messages. Valiant's size would seem to disqualify him from joining up, but his determination and grit impress the team's champion flier, Gutsy (Hugh Laurie) who thinks he should be given a chance. Flying to London to enlist, Valiant meets street-wise and fly-infested Bugsy (Ricky Gervais from The Office in fine, funny form) who, against his better judgement, signs up as well.
With the rest of the motley crew of their squad, Valiant and Bugsy go through training under the gruff - and loud - supervision of their sergeant, Crusty (Jim Broadbent) and it's not long before a mission comes up in which they must try to free a comrade named Mercury (John Cleese) who is being held and questioned by the enemy - a fascist falcon called General Von Talon (Tim Curry) aided by two bird-brained offsiders, Cufflingk and Underlingk (Rik Mayall and Michael Schlingmann). It's a perilous assignment that also involves bringing back a vital message and not everything goes to plan, but it gives Valiant the chance to show what he's made of!
With its London landmarks under blimp-covered skies and its 1940s setting, Valiant has a look that sets it apart from most animated films while its characters - based on the heroic 'types' that we got to know in a string of live action films - are instantly recognisable. There's tongue-in-cheek humour, too - a female French Resistance worker coyly tells us that her name is Charles De Girl and she sounds remarkably like a character from the comedy series, 'Allo, 'Allo. Naturally, there's a little romance, which Valiant finds with a fine-feathered nurse called Victoria (Olivia Williams). And a climactic cross-channel, cross-country chase, with Von Talon hot on the tail feathers of a frantically flapping Valiant, brings some fast, high-flying excitement to this lively adventure!
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
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