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Valiant
DVD disk
9 years ago By: Jason Coleman
Valiant order
Director:
Gary Chapman

Actors:
Ewan McGregor
Ricky Gervais
Tim Curry

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An animated story follows a little bird named Valiant, a small in body but large in heart pigeon who is determined to be in Great Britainís Royal Air Force Homing Pigeon Service (thereís a mouthful!) during World War II. Along the way he meets different characters and learns to (insert music!) become the pigeon he was destined to be.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Disney has come out with some terrific and memorable fare over the years. With classics like CINDERELLA, my favorite LADY AND THE TRAMP and later works like TOY STORY and FINDING NEMO. They have managed to corner the market on kidís flicks because they have a track record for making films that can be enjoyed by both kids and their parents. But in the massive empire of animated classics, I think itís safe to say that VALIANT will not go into the Disney hall of fame. Itís a kidís movie that takes place during World War II, not exactly a happy time period. But the filmmakers try to put a smiling face on this one, pulling out various cheesy and unmemorable characters that seem to be flying around in circles with a script that is too complicated for kids and to drab for adults. (And is it just me, or does every Disney film now have that ďlittle engine that couldĒ theme going on?!)

The voice talents on this one get buried beneath the muddy story and falls flat. McGregor (with ROBOTS and now this one) seems to be on some sort of kids flicks kick and phones in yet another boring voice over performance. In ROBOTS, the supporting cast of Robin Williams and Paul Giamatti made up for McGregorís stale delivery, whereas VALIANT has no one with panache; itís literally a whoís who of second rate talent and even thatís being generous. Gervais voices a bird whose only interesting quality is that he has flies buzzing around him, while Curry plays yet another boring baddie. (Hell, I didnít even know it was his voice till I saw the damn credits!) Even the hilarious John Cleese can't save this one from a fatal case of the bird flu. So since most adults will find this one tedious and unoriginal hereís the question Ė will kids be entertained by this one? Well, while I know my little guy didnít understand what was going on a lot of the time, the bird animation was cute enough to keep him interested. But VALIANT shouldnít take my kid not turning the flick off as a compliment, because if it was, itís certainly a backhanded one. I liken it to when the little man watches fireworks; he couldnít tell you anything about them (where they came from, how they were made, ect.), but he watches for a few minutes because, well, he likes all the pretty colors. (And for the record, the stars here are from him, not me!)
THE EXTRAS
One of the features on this DVD is something called Disneyís Fast Play, which plays both the movie and a selection of bonus features automatically. (For all those lazy turds who canít even be bothered with the remote!) A good one to keep the kids occupied for longer.

Bloopers (0:59): A really short (thank god!) blooper reel featuring birds running into windows and farting. The kid was laughing, I wasnít.

There is also a Valiant Training Challenge Game (again, kids only), and there are also some Sneak Peeks with trailers of LADY AND THE TRAMP, THE WILD, SHAGGY DOG, STUDIO GHIBLI FILMS, TOY STORY 2, KRONKíS NEW GROOVE, SKY HIGH, BAMBI 2, and POWER RANGERS SPD.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Looking for a great and wholesome Disney film that both kids and their parents can enjoy together? Well, better look elsewhere. This one is strictly eye (or should I say bird?) candy for the rug rats and donít worry about the fact that it centers around World War II, the kids wonít understand it anyway. Itís not the best picture to come out of the Disney vault, but it isÖ.umÖ.animated. (Trying to end on a positive note here!) A cheap babysitter in the form of a bad bird flick.
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