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Movie review

Without Pixar, Disney wings it

By BILLY NORRIS
Published August 29, 2005


MOVIE: Valiant

RATING: G

SUMMARY: Valiant (voice of Ewan McGregor) may be a pigeon of small stature, but he has a huge heart and big aspirations. In the midst of World War II, he has always dreamed of serving Great Britain in the Royal Homing Pigeon Service. Despite harsh skepticism and ridicule from fellow pigeons, Valiant is determined to make a difference in the war. He enlists, and goes into training with a mixed bag of fellow feathered friends. What Valiant doesn't know is that he will all too soon see the front lines and be called upon to play hero, truly living up to his name.

MY VIEW: This is Disney's latest animated brainchild. Allow me to state up front that it is indeed a cute movie. The premise is likable, and the characters are endearing enough to entertain the youngest viewers. But it is missing the X-factor that resides in all Disney films. The company is losing its ability to create films that blur age differences and appeal to every audience member. Perhaps this unfortunate, yet obvious dulling in Disney's recent outings is because of the company's likely parting with longtime partner Pixar Animation Studios. :Without Pixar's masterful visual creations (think Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles), Disney is lacking. The animation was handled by Vanguard. The result is respectable, but the colors lackedvibrancy and the backdrops were not impeccably detailed. What secret potion does Pixar have that makes its animation superior? Had this film been in the hands of the Pixar animators, its mediocrity would have likely been overcome by a broadened appeal. I am disappointed to see Disney going downhill like this, and I'm only left to wonder which of the major studios may be graced with Pixar's partnership.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Kids will like it, but there's really no need for anyone else to see it.

GRADE: C+

Billy Norris, 17, is in the 12th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the X-Team.

[Last modified August 26, 2005, 08:53:02]


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