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"VALIANT"
(2005) (voices of Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Mild Extreme *Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy Minor None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Minor Mild Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A ragtag group of WWII era birds join the Royal Homing Pigeon Service in hopes of delivering an important message behind enemy lines, all while avoiding the feared enemy falcons.
PLOT:
It's May 1944 and Valiant (voice of EWAN MCGREGOR) is a young and undersized pigeon who wants to join the Royal Homing Pigeon Service and be like his idol, Wing Commander Gutsy (voice of HUGH LAURIE). Determined to make a difference and serve his country, he sets out for London to enlist, but first runs into con artist Bugsy (voice of RICKY GERVAIS) who needs some cover from two birds who are angry he's just hustled them. Talking up Valiant's good points to the recruiter, Bugsy also enlists just to get away from the birds, but then doesn't get out in time.

Along with brotherly soccer hooligans Toughwood (voice of BRIAN LONSDALE) and Tailfeather (voice of DAN ROBERTS) and the erudite Lofty (voice of PIP TORRENS), Valiant and Bugsy make up the latest recruiting class. Under the stern tutelage of the drill sergeant (voice of JIM BROADBENT), they go through their drills, get checked out by nurse Victoria (voice of OLIVIA WILLIAMS), and learn to avoid the dreaded falcons, bigger and faster birds that can easily pick off the carriers.

When that occurs to another squad, Commander Gutsy orders that the new recruits be sent into active duty. With the aid of French resistance mice Charles De Girl (voice of SHARON HORGAN) and Rollo (voice of BUCKLEY COLLUM), they set out to deliver an important message behind enemy lines, as well as rescue another carrier, Mercury (voice of JOHN CLEESE), who's been kidnapped by General Von Talon (voice of TIM CURRY) and his minions Cufflingk (voice of RIK MAYALL) and Underlingk (voice of MICHAEL SCHLINGMANN).

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Since it's a computer-animated film, those who like such movies probably will want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
For not containing material that would warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view animated, non-human characters as role models, but here's a quick look at the characters' major characteristics.
  • VALIANT is the small, but determined pigeon who wants to join the war effort and shows bravery when confronting the enemy.
  • BUGSY is his new best friend, a con artist who joins the service as an escape and he then briefly goes AWOL, but also shows bravery during their encounters with Von Talon.
  • VON TALON is the steely falcon leader who has his minions abduct Mercury in hopes of getting info about him and tries to capture or harm others in the process.
  • CUFFLINGK and UNDERLINGK are his somewhat dimwitted minions who do his dirty work.
  • SERGEANT is the standard issue drill sergeant who trains the recruits.
  • GUTSY is the legendary wing commander who runs the service.
  • MERCURY is the pigeon who's been abducted by Von Talon and must contend with being loopy from the truth serum he's given.
  • LOFTY is another recruit who's initially intellectually snobbish toward the others.
  • VICTORIA is the nurse who takes a liking to Valiant.
  • TOUGHWOOD and TAILFEATHER are two brothers and football (soccer) fanatics who are also recruits.
  • CHARLES DE GIRL is a French resistance mouse who assists the pigeons, while ROLLO is her sabotage-crazy assistant who enjoys lighting up matches like torches.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this G-rated, computer animated, action-adventure film. No profanity is present, but various colorful phrases are uttered, while some slightly sexualized (but nothing remotely explicit) dialogue/material is present.

    Violence consists of a brief wartime incident (where a transport plane is hit by gunfire, crashes and explodes), various scenes of falcons pursuing pigeons (all humanized) with the intent of capturing and/or killing them, and various bits of slapstick (characters hitting others, slamming into things, etc.). Some of those scenes and other moments of peril might be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but probably not at all to older kids.

    Some bad attitudes are present (mainly from the villains), as is some crude humor (including regurgitation bits) along with behavior that might be enticing for some kids to imitate. A wine bottle is seen and various pigeon characters drink bug juice in a bar (as if it's beer).

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A bird bartender serves up "drinks" to various birds, including some "bug juice" to Gutsy who orders it shaken and not stirred.
  • We see a wine bottle and glasses on a table.
  • A bird bartender sings, "What do you do with a drunken sailor."
  • Valiant has some bug juice in the bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Valiant's mom says he should have some breakfast before he goes, and thus starts to make regurgitation sounds and motions, followed by her spitting up part of a worm for him (he's disgusted and leaves).
  • Valiant spits into the air while flying and it comes back and lands on his face.
  • A bird farts.
  • A bird cook sneezes into the grub he's dishing up.
  • Valiant gives Victoria a flower as a gift. She then retrieves the live bug from it and eats it (not gory, but the sight might be gross for some kids).
  • When asked if they're ready to drop (out of a plane), one of the recruits sheepishly responds, "I think I dropped already" (a bathroom joke).
  • When Charles de Girl tries to catch a ride with Bugsy by grabbing his feet when he takes off, he farts in her face by accident.
  • Valiant regurgitates the important paper message from his belly and there's yellow goo on it and the floor around it.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Von Talon and his minions have bad attitudes for kidnapping Mercury and trying to capture and/or kill Valiant and his comrades.
  • Some birds make fun of Valiant when he says he wants to join the Royal Homing Pigeon Service.
  • Bugsy is a street hustler who tries to con two birds with a rigged shell game.
  • The falcons try to torture Mercury by making him listening to yodeling recordings.
  • Bugsy goes AWOL, but then returns for their first mission.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger viewers, but probably not at all to older kids.
  • Von Talon might look scary to younger kids (he looks mean and wears an eye patch, etc.).
  • Pigeons fly across the English channel during a storm as some dramatic/suspenseful music plays. Suddenly, Von Talon and his minions are there, snatching the three pigeons one by one from the air (we don't see the actual contact, but see talons coming down as well as the pigeons' belongings and a feather fall down to the water below).
  • We hear that Mercury is now a Pigeon of War (POW).
  • Bugsy suggestively and playfully asks a female nurse if she has anything for him. She then pulls out a large syringe (to give him and the others a shot) and asks if he was thinking about that (he and the others faint, while she gives a shot with it to Valiant in his rear - we don't see the actual insertion). Kids nervous about needles and such might not like that.
  • We see Von Talon with a huge syringe of truth serum that he's going to give Mercury (we see the shadow of him approaching with it).
  • The drill sergeant tells the story of how the falcons attack and what they do with you once they catch you (and that might be unsettling to younger kids).
  • As the recruits fly in a plane to be dropped behind enemy lines, anti-aircraft explosions go off all around the plane, while we see holes being ripped in the fuselage by machine gun fire. The recruits then parachute out, but we then see that the plane is on fire. The wing then comes off, Valiant yells for Gusty to get out of there, and the plane plummets toward the ground (we see the flash of the explosive crash in Valiant's face). He and others then think that Gutsy is dead (especially after the wreckage blows up again on the ground), but we later see that he's alive.
  • Behind enemy lines at night, Valiant cautiously enters a bombed out church where he sees a knight figure lying on top of a stone coffin, while the sight of a gargoyle type face surprises and scares him.
  • We see Von Talon's minions flying about the recruits and their new mouse friends.
  • When in flight, Rollo throws lit matches back at Von Talon's minions like flares, while a pigeon knocks a flower pot down onto one of them. One then tries to grab Charles de Girl and has her by the tail (as she's carried by a pigeon), but that falcon then smacks into a light post.
  • Von Talon's minions try to get at the pigeons and mice and repeatedly slam into some closed shutters.
  • A falcon is after Valiant and Bugsy, with Valiant flying through some thorns to avoid being captured and then both he and Bugsy hide. Nevertheless, the falcon grabs Valiant, with Bugsy then coming to the rescue, first biting the falcon on the neck and then jumping on his back. The falcon, however, grabs Bugsy and then flies off with him back to Von Talon's lair, closing the gun bunker behind him.
  • Von Talon grabs one of the three small flies (never personified) that are always around Bugsy and smashes it in his talon (seen from a distance).
  • We see a bird skull in a bird cage. We later see more bird skeletal remains inside a bird cage.
  • Valiant slowly makes his way inside Von Talon's lair, finds Bugsy locked up and tries to retrieve the key to the cage without alerting Von Talon who's in the shower.
  • We see stuffed pigeons in Von Talon's lair and Valiant hides among and as one of them when Von Talon's minions pass by.
  • As the birds fly away from Von Talon's lair, we see that the falcons are after them. The group then uses their training to avoid them, including causing the two minions to crash into each other, and then the group comes together as a unified body and slams into and hits the falcons.
  • Von Talon chases after Valiant in flight, asking the small bird if he would like to rest in his (Von Talon's) belly. The chase continues for several minutes and through various settings (under a railroad train, around battleships and finally into a small mill). At times, Von Talon's talons come close to snagging Valiant.
  • Von Talon smashes through a mill window and nearly grabs Valiant, but then gets his talons stuck in some wood. Other birds then drop objects down onto Von Talon's head. He eventually gets free and continues the pursuit, with both trying to avoid close calls with mill machinery, including some large chopping blades that seem to nick Von Talon's tail. Valiant eventually wraps a large chain around Von Talon who then hangs from and is repeatedly banged by the mill's spinning water wheel.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • At various points in the film, we see war machinery, such as tanks, bombers, bombs and several battleships.
  • As the recruits fly in a plane to be dropped behind enemy lines, anti-aircraft explosions go off all around the plane, while we see holes being ripped in the fuselage by machine gun fire (which results in the plane being downed).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Our goose is going to be cooked," "Poop deck" (one's rear), "(Pipe down) Pipsqueak," "Get your talons off me you filthy falcon," "This canary will never sing," "That boy's gonna get creamed," "Get lost," "Geezer," "Save our tail feathers," "Fall in, feather brains," "Your tails belong to me," "Ladies" (said to male characters), "We have ways of making you squawk," "Bird brains," "You idiots," "Zip it, stinky," "Time for me to fly the coupe," "Shut up," "France is spooky," "All right, you turkeys," "Cut the cheese," "Sabotage!" (yelled out with a French accent), "Putrid smelling reject," "You idiots," "Let's make wind" (fly away) and "Shall we shake a tail feather?" (dance).
  • Valiant spits into the air while flying and it comes back and lands on his face.
  • Bugsy belches in several scenes, including when asked if he can do so on cue. He does it again, saying he can do other letters (jokingly mistaking "cue" for "q") and then starts belching out the alphabet.
  • When Charles de Girl (a female mouse) asks the recruits if they speak French, Bugsy replies "Does oo-la-la mean anything to you?" and then says "Va-va-voom" (all in response to the sight of her).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A bird bartender sings, "What do you do with a drunken sailor."
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Bugsy suggestively and playfully asks a female nurse if she has anything for him. She then pulls out a large syringe (to give him and the others a shot) and asks if he was thinking about that (he and the others faint).
  • The drill sergeant quickly drills the recruits with "friend or foe" photos and then displays one of an attractive bird character and they all enthusiastically state "friend."
  • When Charles de Girl (a female mouse) asks the recruits if they speak French, Bugsy replies "Does oo-la-la mean anything to you?" and then says "Va-va-voom" (all in response to the sight of her, although she looks just like a mouse).
  • When Charles de Girl mentions the "message" the birds are carrying, it sounds like "massage" and Bugsy suggestively jokes that he'd like a full-body one.
  • As Valiant flies by with Von Talon in hot pursuit, a female bird in a bird bath hurriedly covers herself up as if nude (although it's only feathers as usual).
  • Valiant and Victoria kiss at the end.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Valiant's mom worries about him going off to join the service.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The note at the end of the film about animals being awarded medals for their service in the war.
  • WWII.
  • That Valiant succeeds despite others thinking he can and is too small, etc.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Pigeons fly across the English channel during a storm as some dramatic/suspenseful music plays. Suddenly, Von Talon and his minions are there, snatching the three pigeons one by one from the air (we don't see the actual contact, but see talons coming down as well as the pigeons' belongings and a feather fall down to the water below).
  • A bird accidentally hits Valiant on the head with his cue stick (a real stick) while playing some form of billiards.
  • Von Talon's minions throw Mercury into his cage and he lands hard against the bars.
  • As Valiant struggles to get away from his mom who's holding him, she suddenly lets go and he accidentally slams into a support beam.
  • Valiant accidentally flies into something and then lands down hard on two birds, momentarily knocking them out.
  • Valiant, Bugsy and other recruits are banged around inside a passenger compartment as it's taken to the camp.
  • A kicked acorn (like a soccer ball) knocks down Valiant.
  • The drill sergeant occasionally whacks his recruits with his riding crop.
  • Von Talon's minions hit each other and bang their heads together as fun.
  • Tailfeather and Toughwood repeatedly bang each other on their military helmets and then one removes the other's helmet to bang him just on his bare head.
  • Two recruits crash into each other in flight, while Valiant slams into a large stone structure.
  • Valiant tries to fly off, but some stretchy tape yanks him back against a wall (we see a dent in the form of his shape in the wall).
  • Some fruit used as a weightlifting weight falls on Valiant's head, knocking him silly.
  • We see various moments of pigeons accidentally slamming into each other.
  • During training, Valiant is blown out through a window by a desk fan and slams into a desk light on the way out.
  • All of the recruits crash to the ground together, but we don't see the impact and they're fine afterwards.
  • As the recruits fly in a plane to be dropped behind enemy lines, anti-aircraft explosions go off all around the plane, while we see holes being ripped in the fuselage by machine gun fire. The recruits then parachute out, but we then see that the plane is on fire. The wing then comes off, Valiant yells for Gusty to get out of there, and the plane plummets toward the ground (we see the flash of the explosive crash in Valiant's face). He and others then think that Gutsy is dead (especially after the wreckage blows up again on the ground), but we later see that he's alive.
  • Valiant's parachute cage lands hard down on top of Lofty.
  • When in flight, Rollo throws lit matches back at Von Talon's minions like flares, while a pigeon knocks a flower pot down onto one of them. One then tries to grab Charles de Girl and has her by the tail (as she's carried by a pigeon), but that falcon then smacks into a light post.
  • Von Talon's minions try to get at the pigeons and mice and repeatedly slam into some closed shutters.
  • A falcon is after Valiant and Bugsy, with Valiant flying through some thorns to avoid being captured and then both he and Bugsy hide. Nevertheless, the falcon grabs Valiant, with Bugsy then coming to the rescue, first biting the falcon on the neck and then jumping on his back. The falcon, however, grabs Bugsy and then flies off with him back to Von Talon's lair, closing the gun bunker behind him.
  • A falcon holds Bugsy upside down to get the message he's carrying and then tosses him aside (he lands on the hard floor).
  • Von Talon grabs one of the three small flies (never personified) that are always around Bugsy and smashes it in his talon (seen from a distance).
  • Bugsy is thrown into a cage.
  • Telling Mercury (who's loopy from drug serum) that he needs to snap out of it, Bugsy slaps Mercury on the face.
  • One falcon pulls a cape he's dragging out from under another falcon, causing the second to fall to the floor.
  • What look like large ammo shells fall on one falcon, with the other tripping on them and falling hard.
  • As the birds fly away from Von Talon's lair, we see that the falcons are after them. The group then uses their training to avoid them, including causing the two minions to crash into each other, and then the group comes together as a unified body and slams into and hits the falcons.
  • Von Talon smashes through a mill window and nearly grabs Valiant, but then gets his talons stuck in some wood. Other birds then drop objects down onto Von Talon's head. He eventually gets free and continues the pursuit, with both trying to avoid close calls with mill machinery, including some large chopping blades that seem to nick Von Talon's tail. Valiant eventually wraps a large chain around Von Talon who then hangs from and is repeatedly banged by the mill's spinning water wheel.
  • Toughwood and Tailfeather strike each other.



  • Reviewed August 13, 2005 / Posted August 19, 2005

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