I have from time to time reviewed films via the vague excuse of critiquing them for Youth work/ministry. And in that vein …… Valiant
Valiant.jpg Valiant is a British CGI film (up to now we’ve generally done plasticene and the U.S have done CGI) which is interesting in itself and it has managed to recruit lots of great UK actors to voice the characters.
The film is set in 1944 and follows the exploits of Valiant, a pigeon who joins the Royal Pigeon Service to serve his country. it’s a witty idea as it is then able to parody elements of the RAF as well as working with the fact that Pigeons did play a key part in the second world war (I kid you not) and won several medals (again true!). Valiant obviously is the under … (well) pigeon who saves the day and along the way teaches Bugsy (Ricky Gervais) the value of friendship, loyalty and living for something other than yourself.

“It’s not your wingspan that counts … it’s the size of your spirit”
Valiant (Ewan McGregor)

It’s strong points are that it’s fun, it’s well animated and perculiarly British (hints of Black Adder). I liked it, an enjoyable ‘family’ film with a feel good ending. It’s weaker points are that it’s short (75 mins) and is maybe a tad predictable but that’s not neccessarily a bad thing. I reckon that “The Incredibles” was clearly an adult film (that Children tend to enjoy too) while “Robots” was clearly a Childrens film (loved by adults). Valiant seems to sit somewhere in the middle!
I reckon I may hi-jack some teaching/discussion stuff on “it’s the size of your spirit” that counts as well as the way Bugsy grows in character as he is offered challenge, opportunity and friendship.
Watchability for a youth weekend
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Usability for teaching or discussion
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