Pros: Good animation. Entertaining. Ice Age 2 preview that played before the movie.
Cons: Not the best subject matter for a movie aimed at kids. Missing something.
When I was growing up there werent many animated movies released. Now there are several released every year. I tend to see most of them because I do really like animated movies. Some are much better than others. I have been seeing previews for Valiant for a few months and decided to see it.
Valiant was a pigeon that dreamed of joining the Royal Homing Pigeon Service so he could do his part for the war effort. His friends thought he was too small but Valiant still headed off to London to enlist. He met Bugsy, another pigeon, after arriving in London. Bugsy ended up enlisting as a way to get out of a situation and didnt really want to be there. They went through basic training with Lofty, Toughwood, and Tailfeather. Gusty, a war hero, arrived to send the unit on their first mission which was very important. The mission was made more dangerous by the fact that Von Talon, Underlingk, and Cufflingk, falcons, were after the pigeons to get the message they had to transport across the English Channel.
I have seen many animated movies but I dont remember ever seeing one that was a war movie before. I dont like war movies and rarely watch them. I decided to see this one because it was an animated movie. I dont think war is the best subject for a movie mainly aimed at children. I do know that pigeons were used during World War II to carry messages. Maybe the movie will help to get some kids interested in learning more about that period of history. There was violence in the movie, though it wasnt extreme. The falcons were shown going after the pigeons more than once. It wasnt actually shown what the falcons did to some of the pigeons, but it was made clear what happened to some of them. The scenes showing the falcons attacking might scare some children. The falcons were menacing and scary looking.
Valiant was very straightforward and offered no real surprises. I really didnt expect any. The basic plot wasnt that different from several other movies. A young man heads off to the city to make his dream come true. That same basic idea, with variations on the locations and the dreams, has been used many times. Robots, another animated movie that was released in the spring of 2005, also used that same basic plot. There have also been other war movies that focused on a man character that was anxious to enlist to fight in whatever war was going on. Making Valiants story an animated movie did make it unique. Overall this was a predictable movie. I think that most animated movies tend to be predictable so that didnt bother me. There were a few things that were done to add a little bit of suspense.
For the last several years there have been some animated movies that have been full of pop culture references. Some of those movies, like Shark Tale, went overboard with the references which did interfere with my enjoyment. Valiant didnt include the pop culture references. They really wouldnt have worked in the movie considering the time frame. The movie did have a very serious subject which could make the movie too serious for some children. I have seen this described as a comedy, but I feel like it was more serious than funny. Some things were done to add humor to the movie and I did laugh. I just felt like this wasnt as funny as I expected. There were cute things in the movie and it was entertaining overall. I did feel like something was missing from the movie.
Valiant is a computer animated movie. Some of the people that were involved with the making of the Shrek movies were also involved in making this one though it was released by Disney and not Dreamworks. The animation was well done, especially for the water. The backgrounds did look good with their vibrant colors. The backgrounds did seem somewhat flat and static to me though. There wasnt much movement of things in the backgrounds like wind rustling leaves or the grass. Those elements have been in other recent computer animated movies. The animation wasnt horrible, but I dont think it was up to the quality of Pixar or Dreamworks. I think I have been spoiled by Pixar.
The movie focused on Valiant and his journey to join the RHPS. He was very determined to make his dream a reality. He was usually happy and very enthusiastic. Ewan McGregor provided the voice for the character. The voice did fit Valiant. None of the other characters were as developed as Valiant was. Bugsy was running a scam in London when he and Valiant met. Bugsy hating bathing and the others teased him about him smelling. A small group of flies was always buzzing around over his head. Lofty was very prim and proper and did seem a bit out of place with the others. Toughwood and Tailfeather were brothers that liked to rough house with each other. Neither one of them was that smart. Von Talon was the falcon in charge. The voice that Tim Curry did for the character did fit him. Underlingk and Cufflingk didnt seem that bright and they dont question Von Talons orders.
Jim Broadbent - Sergeant
John Cleese - Mercury
Tim Curry - Von Talon
Ricky Gervais - Bugsy
Hugh Laurie - Gutsy
Brian Lonsdale - Toughwood
Ewan McGregor - Valiant
Rik Mayall - Cufflingk
Dan Roberts - Tailfeather
Pip Torrens - Lofty
Michael Schlingmann - Underlingk
Olivia Williams - Victoria
Valiant was cute and entertaining, but I have seen better animated movies. People that like animated movies may enjoy it. There really isnt any reason to rush right out to see this one.
Animated Movie Reviews
The Emperor's New Groove ~ Sleeping Beauty ~ Lilo & Stitch ~ Treasure Planet ~ Brother Bear ~ Home on the Range ~ Monster's Inc ~ Finding Nemo ~ The Incredibles ~ Ice Age ~ Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius ~ Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas ~ Shrek ~ Shrek 2 ~ Shark Tale ~ Madagascar ~ The Polar Express ~ Robots ~