review of Walt Disney's animated film
like me, you received all the leadership training that you ever needed by
watching re-runs of British World War Two movies on telly on Sunday
afternoons, then take 80 minutes out of your busy schedules and go and see
"Valiant." Finally the work of our brave British pigeons in
defeating fascism has been recognised.
is the War as it really was (well ... as it should have been), with the
British impeccable (pun intended), the Huns unspeakable; and the plucky
French Resistance brave, but idiosyncratic, with a good looking babe, (erm
... mouse,) and Edith Piaf. There is not a Yank in sight ~ so much for
over-paid, over-sexed and over-here!
lovers of the '40s and '50s British stiff upper lip film genre
"Valiant" is a real joy. It was made in Ealing Studios for
starters! Early on there is one of those cheeky but cheerful newsreels about
the war effort. Then there is a nod to "Mrs. Miniver" as we see
the effect of the war on the pigeon home front, where everyone is making
sacrifices. It then turns into "The Way Ahead" as a hard but
caring Sergeant Major moulds a disparate group from all social classes into
a cohesive unit. In occupied France we touch on "Carve her Name with
Pride" before a "Dambusters"/"Reach for the Sky"
type denouement. The clichés just keep rolling.
McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie, John Hurt
and Rick Mayall all seem to be having a wonderful time; and John Cleese on
truth serum is priceless. Perhaps, for more authenticity "Valiant"
could have been shot in black and white but then you wouldn't have got to
appreciate the wood pigeons' plumage.
stars, two thumbs up and a wizard prang!