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Valiant (2005)

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At the height of WWII, a tiny wood pigeon enlists in the elite Royal Homing Pigeon Service to serve Britain, as the fearsome General Von Talon and his deadly squadron of falcons patrol the English Channel. Is he a war-hero in the making?

Director:

Gary Chapman

Writers:

George Webster (story), Jordan Katz (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... Valiant (voice)
Ricky Gervais ... Bugsy (voice)
Tim Curry ... Von Talon (voice)
Jim Broadbent ... Sergeant (voice)
Hugh Laurie ... Gutsy (voice)
John Cleese ... Mercury (voice)
John Hurt ... Felix (voice)
Pip Torrens ... Lofty (voice)
Rik Mayall ... Cufflingk (voice)
Olivia Williams ... Victoria (voice)
Jonathan Ross ... Big Thug (voice)
Brian Lonsdale Brian Lonsdale ... Toughwood (voice)
Dan Roberts Dan Roberts ... Tailfeather (voice)
Michael Schlingmann ... Underlingk (voice)
Sharon Horgan ... Charles De Girl (voice)
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Storyline

Set in 1944, Valiant is a woodland pigeon who wants to become a great hero someday. When he hears they are hiring recruits for the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, he immediately sets out for London. On the way, he meets a smelly but friendly pigeon named Bugsy, who joins him, mainly to get away from clients he cheated in a game of find-the pebble, and helps him sign up for the war. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lord of the Wings. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vaillant, pigeon de combat! See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,096,329 (United Kingdom), 27 March 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,914,722, 21 August 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,447,478, 6 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the theme O/S for the film has been used as the theme music for Katanga Canyon at Alton Towers for years before the film was produced. The area is an African themed area hosting the Rapids and Run-Away Mine Train. The park's owners at the time, Tussauds, signed a contract to allow the use of the music for the film. See more »

Goofs

In the movie members of the French Resistance, play "Non, je ne regrette rien" sung by Édith Piaf. However World War II was over twelve years before the song was even written. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lofty: [seeing Valiant & Bugsy] For a, quote, 'elite unit', unquote, they seem to be letting in anything with wings
[to Bugsy]
Lofty: , including those flies circling your bottom.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No animals were harmed in the making of this film, including Dennis. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Pearl Harbor (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Shoo Shoo Baby
by Phil Moore
Performed by Mis-Teeq
Produced by Phil Ramone
Published by Universal/MCA Music Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Flight of the Pigeons: flat-out funny birds saving the day!
30 July 2005 | by ftabouringSee all my reviews

'Valiant' proudly invalidates the conventional assumption that pigeons are stupid and very limited animals. In this imaginative and fast-paced British animated adventure directed by Gary Chapman, pigeons are heroic creatures stopping at nothing to serve and support their country during the hard times it faced back in the early 1940's, during World War II. The outcome of the dramatic war literally "lies in the wings" of the pigeons, as they help the Allied Forces develop strategic plans by bringing them confidential messages from the French resistance.

Meet Valiant (voiced by Ewan McGregor), a little, hyperactive and vivacious pigeon from the British countryside, whose big time dream is to join the highly esteemed Royal Pigeon Service, a military unit training volunteers as "pilots" and message carriers to facilitate communication between the Allied troops. After reassuring his worried mother that he will do just fine out there on the battlefield, Valiant leaves his home for the RPS recruitment office in London, where he immediately makes the accidental acquaintance of a chubby and clumsy street pigeon named Bugsy (Rick Gervais).

After enrolling and meeting the rest of the team, Valiant and Bugsy are brought to a military base where they have to put up with a merciless Pigeon Training Sergeant (Jim Broadbent), who guides them through a hard-hitting and strenuous training. Although it seems at first as if Valiant were not qualified for the job, his strong determination nevertheless provides him with the required strength to keep on. Soon after follows the day of his first big mission, which consists out of picking up an important message from the French. Only, none of the new "pilots", including Valiant, are fully trained yet to embark the dangerous operation…

Although it may at first sound like your ordinary 3-D animated family film about a bunch of cgi-animals trying the impossible to save the world, 'Valiant' is quite a different, and above all, new experience. It is solid fun for everyone, and finally an animated action-comedy again that provides enough innovation and an appealing, never-before-seen premise. First of all, the story is set in 1944, shortly before the end of the war, which is rather an unusual period of time for a computer-generated kid-flick. Second, the film also creatively emphasizes on how pigeons helped the armies establish better communication with partners or allies.

Also, 'Valiant' clearly diverts us from our standard, negative view of pigeons: the plot shows that a pigeon is not that dumb an animal after all. The "freedom" pigeons in the movie are smart and speedy, courageous and hilarious. The hero of course, is little Valiant, who works very hard to become really big. He values friendship and teamwork, and always comes up with a clever plan when the situation abruptly aggravates. And the situation does indeed get tricky, because shortly after Valiant and co. fetch the targeted message, they are followed by General Von Talon, a deadly and vicious falcon who tries to intercept the valuable "package"…

Diversity is one of the positive words that can be used to best describe 'Valiant': from the opening on, en route for the big finish, the plot is loaded with a lot of fun, suspenseful twists and a globally refreshing sense of humor. The pigeon training, for instance, is a first highlight: instead of using miniature iron weights, Valiant and his compatriots use apples. As dormitories, they use tin cans, and in order to defend themselves against potential enemies, they are trained how to attack with their beaks. The second part of the movie features more action and suspense, as Valiant and Bugsy track down General Von Talon in order to retrieve their message and free a captured pigeon.

With its feature length of only 75 minutes, 'Valiant' is almost too short, giving us the impression that some of the sequences are a little rushed or just too easy. If Valiant for instance, got into more threatening trouble, the plot would have been filled with even more suspense, and some additional, intriguing complexity. Then again, the filmmakers did a very inspiring job on the character development. Besides Valiant, the little one with big plans, Bugsy is another adorable figure, since he will eventually discover that having a true friend is more important than acting on your own. Therefore, the messages are crystal clear.

Sweet faces, vibrant pursuits, an action-packed showdown between good and evil, a considerable amount of slapstick, and lots of flat-out funny dialogues and satisfying effects; these are all elements contributing to the considerable atmosphere of this overall entertaining summer movie. Furthermore, at the end of the screening I attended, I heard a little spectator yelling: "Mom, Valiant was the best one, and the coolest!" Considering that such films indeed intend on turning their main characters the heroes of the audience, I'd say: pigeon mission accomplished! (Grade: B-)


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