Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Animated war movie

The homing pigeon is a variety of the domesticated Rock Dove that has been selectively bred to find its way home over extremely long distances. Homing pigeons were used as early as 1150 in Baghdad and later by Genghis Khan to carry messages in a small tube attached to one leg.

During World War I the French army had 72 mobile pigeon lofts which advanced with the troops. The US Army Signal Corps used 600 pigeons in France. One of their pigeons was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for heroic service delivering 12 important messages during the battle of Verdun.

During WW II the Allied Forces used about 250,000 messenger pigeons. The Dickin Medal, which is the highest possible animal's decoration for valour, was awarded to 32 pigeons.

Ewan McGregor: voice of Valiant, a rather small pigeon
Tim Curry: voice of Von Talon, the Lead Falcon
Ricky Gervais: voice of Bugsy, the boor of the group

Although promoted as a film for kids, it would seem to me to be way over their heads. Based on the true story of pigeons used as messengers during WW II, there is very little of interest to children and hardly anything even remotely funny (apart from the usual rude body noises that seem to be a requirement of animated movies today).
Older members of the audience will find the movie mildly entertaining, with the occasional chuckle or smile at the more subtle jokes that crop up from time to time.


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