Director: Gary Chapman, Rob Letterman
Voice-overs: Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent,
John Cleese, Tim Curry, John Hurt, Olivia Williams
Released By: Cathay-keris Films
Official Movie Website: http://www.valiantmovie.co.uk/
Released Date: 18 August 2005
While set in WWII, Valiant is described by insiders as more
Private Benjamin than Private Ryan, following a lonely and
comically misfit pigeon through boot camp at the Royal Pigeon
Service. Vastly unqualified for the job, Valiant squeaks his
way through RAF training and is abruptly sent on the most
important mission of the war, charged with carrying key dispatches
from the French Resistance to Allies regarding the D-Day landing
“Not the wingspan that counts, but the size of your
spirit that’s matter!”
is the motto of tiny Valiant (voice by Ewan Mcgregor), a young
pigeon of big dreams. The statement is also the philosophy
of filmmaker, Gray Chapman, in making this animated movie.
helming many big budget animated projects liked “Shrek”
and “Shrek II”, Chapman decided to take on VALIANT
using half the usual budget necessary for any animation and
also to complete its production in half the time require!
Although his personal challenge is respectable, however, the
constraint obviously does not help the animators in brainstorming
for cuddly-looking characters. As a result, the pigeon’s
soft toys (if there's any) are not going to be any hot seller
in major toy stores. The sidekick French-speaking rats ironically,
look more charming and hilarious than the pigeons. The “sabotage”
rats, which appear for a mere few minutes, is enough to liven
the crowd. It’s a pity that this movie is not about
characters? No problem. After all, the longtime favourite
Shrek is not any Tom Cruise look alike. Where “Shrek”
was touted with big names like “Austin Power”
Mike Myers, “Charlie’s Angels” Cameron Diaz,
and “Nutty Professor” Eddie Murphy, VALIANT have
“Obi-wan” Ewan Mcgregor, as the voice of Valiant,
to raise some attention of the movie. Ewan Mcgregor was last
“heard” in ROBOTS hence it is no doubt effortless
for him to contribute his voice for an animated character.
The choice of other voice talents like Ricky Gervais and Tim
Curry were perfect for the movie’s characters. Unfortunately,
audiences are usually hungry for bigger casts.
left to attract audience to the movie is probably the imaginative
presentation of the message-carrier pigeons amidst the chaos
of World War II.
grandpa’s generation may have experience the horror
of World War II physically. Many younger ones ENJOY World
War II in the comfort of an air-con cinema (think “Saving
Private Ryan”). In spite of the vast differences in
experience, all of us knew millions had fell in World War
II, but little may have expected that millions of animals
had also given up their life to change the course of war.
the movie, we see pigeons being used to carry critical information
to the allies. Many pigeons have perished as they flew across
enemy territories. Hence, in recognition of the bravery and
contribution of the pigeons in World War II, they were awarded
the Dickin Medal, which is the
equivalent to the human honour, the Victoria Cross. During
the period of World War II, the pigeons received the highest
number of Dickin medals! Other Dickin medal’s recipients
were Dogs, and even Cats.
refreshing interpretation of World War II may had earned some
points from the critics. However, audiences nowadays are overly
pampered with spendthrift budgets, detailed production designs
and big casts name. VALIANT may have many disadvantages due
to limited resources.
Nevertheless, if you are not those “spoilt” moviegoers,
VALIANT is still a worthy edu-tainment for you and your family.
(A refreshing and entertaining perspective of World War II!)
by Leosen Teo