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Assembling A Top-Flight Vocal Cast
When it came to the casting of the voices for the lead characters, producer John Williams and executive producer Barnaby Thompson attracted an impressive array of comedic talent.

Gary Chapman observes, "I have developed a great respect for the actors that do this kind of voice work. They stand behind a microphone, get hold of a character and make it live. Each one is chosen for the quality of their voices, and they come in and deliver. They take a kernel of an idea and turn it into something wonderful.”

For the lead role of Valiant, the plucky pigeon, the producers cast the Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, acclaimed for his performances in the "Star Wars” films, "Moulin Rouge” and "Trainspotting.”

Said McGregor: "I play a young, brave, heroic pigeon who's destined to fight for King and country. It was wonderful working with director Gary Chapman. There was a great sense of fun about the recordings. It was especially fantastic to watch the character develop over the course of those sessions.”

"When you listen to Ewan's voice,” says Chapman, "it has a definite youthful vitality to it. Ewan is not a comic, but he's a fine actor who is also very funny. Valiant's character draws inspiration from a variety of classic actors like Charlie Chaplin, Norman Wisdom and Errol Flynn. I gave Ewan the essence of the character, and he went for it.”

Playing the voice of Bugsy, the street-wise, independent con man of a pigeon, is the Golden Globe® Award-winning British comedian Ricky Gervais, famed for his creation of, and acting in, the hit television series "The Office.”

"It was a pleasure to be part of ‘Valiant,'” said Gervais. "I have always wanted to be a big mouthy bird!”

"Voice work was a new medium for Ricky,” said Chapman. "It was a challenge for him. He was used to writing and performing his own material, but once he got his character, he let loose and added something special. You'd throw something at him, and he would just go with it. He has this comedic spontaneity that stand-up comedy breeds.”

Tim Curry first came to the attention of movie audiences in the cult phenomenon "The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Since then his career has embraced all media including extensive voice work. Cast as the voice of the villainous falcon, Von Talon, Curry clearly relished the role.

"Tim captured the menace and haughtiness of Von Talon,” notes Chapman. "The Falcons are masters of the sky—the fastest, the strongest and potentially the most vicious, and therefore superior. I wanted Von Talon to be full of arrogance and posturing. Tim was so versatile in bringing that to the character.”

Hugh Laurie stepped forward to claim the character of Gutsy, the personification of pigeon excellence. He was also filming "Flight of the Phoenix” at the time and came back and forth to complete his voice role.

Academy Award® winner Jim Broadbent, who took on the voice of Sarge, observed, "I loved doing ‘Valiant.' It gave me the opportunity to play a type of role that I have always wanted to play, a sergeant who is a grizzled veteran, the very epitome of an Army drill sergeant.”

The voice of Felix, the crusty old seabird, was played by Britain's critically acclaimed and versatile John Hurt. The voice of Von Talon's sidekick was voiced by the popular comedic actor Rik Mayall.

Olivia Williams ("The Sixth Sense”) was thrilled to be cast as the voice of the nurse, Victoria, who is the object of Valiant's affections. "This,” said Williams, "could be my only chance to snog Ewan McGregor— even if it is only a peck on the beak.”

A notable casting was John Cleese to voice the role of Mercury. Cleese said: "Doing animation is like radio and it's my favorite medium.” The actor was heard as the voice of the<

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