Valiant appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Don’t expect any problems from this excellent transfer.
Sharpness appeared flawless throughout the film. The movie always seemed perfectly crisp and detailed with no signs whatsoever of any softness or haziness to be found. I also detected no signs of moiré effects or jagged edges, and edge enhancement seemed absent. No source flaws appeared either, as the image was totally clean.
Valiant used a varied palette, and the colors came through with fine richness and boldness. From start to finish, all of the hues seemed gorgeous. At no point did I discern any problems related to colors; they appeared absolutely scintillating.
Black levels also were deep and dense. They offered no signs of murky or muddy qualities, and I also saw excellent contrast. Shadow detail appeared clear and appropriately opaque throughout all of the related scenes. All in all, this was a top-notch transfer.
Although not quite as strong, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Valiant proved more than satisfying. The soundfield seemed broad and engaging. For the most part, the forward spectrum dominated, but the entire package was well-distributed and nicely balanced. It's a pretty seamless mix that spread the audio cleanly between the various channels. The sound blended together neatly so that the environment seemed smooth and convincing.
Various auditory elements appeared precisely located in the spectrum. Even dialogue was focused in the correct locations across the front speakers, and we also heard some speech from the rear when appropriate. The surrounds contributed excellent reinforcement of the information and also used split-channel details quite effectively. Unsurprisingly, battle sequences offered most of the vivid material, and they created a nice sense of environment.
Equally solid was the quality of the audio. All of the speech in Valiant appeared warm and natural, with no signs of shrillness or concerns related to intelligibility. Music sounded clear and smooth, with solid range. Effects appeared accurate and realistic and showed no signs of distortion or harshness. The track boasted fine resolution and depth. The track lacked the level of activity to get up to “A” level, but it was still a strong piece.
Only a few minor supplements appear here. We find a collection of Bloopers. This 59-second piece shows the usual fake mistakes pioneered back with A Bug’s Life. They’re not very entertaining.
We also discover the Valiant Training Challenge. The first part of this game requires you to pick the correct flying formations for various scenarios, and the next one prompts you to hit left, right or enter at the appropriate cue. For the final piece, you need to hit arrows quickly in response to visuals. The last one is the only part of the game that presents a challenge since the arrows fly past fairly quickly. Otherwise this is a simple contest without much to interest most.
A few ads open the DVD. We get promos for Lady and the Tramp, Toy Story 2, The Wild and The Shaggy Dog. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with clips for Studio Ghibli Films, Kronk’s New Groove, Sky High, Bambi II and Power Rangers SPD.
A fairly standard action comedy with an unusual focus, Valiant proves reasonably entertaining. It possesses enough personality and wit to make it winning, but don’t expect anything particularly memorable. The DVD offers excellent visuals and very good audio but it skimps on extras. This one merits a rental for animation fans.