A clumsy yet kind-hearted boy on the cusp of adulthood discovers heroism comes from within, during Manuel Sicilia’s computer-animated adventure.
Justin And The Knights Of Valour is a stirring tale of derring-do set in an olde worlde once ravaged by dragons. A predominantly British voice cast adds lustre to the simplistic screenplay, co-written by Matthew Jacobs and Sicilia. Including over-the-top comic turns from David Walliams as a demented wizard and Rupert Everett as a painfully vain henchman.
The narrative ambles at a gentle pace, building to the inevitable moment when fears are cast aside and gallantry struts forward to win the day.
Eponymous hero Justin (voiced by Freddie Highmore), is a sweet-natured boy who dreams of becoming a valiant knight like his grandfather, Sir Roland. Discovering that every knight needs a quest, Justin sets off to find his famous grandfather’s sword despite the fact that the Queen (Olivia Williams) has banished knights from her kingdom, and placed her trust instead in lawyers including Justin’s father Reginald (Alfred Molina). Meanwhile, banished Sir Heraclio (Mark Strong) and his sidekick Sota (Everett) exploit the absence of the knights to plot a coup.
Justin And The Knights Of Valour lacks the visual sophistication of a lot of recent animations but does boast one stand-out sequence: a history lesson styled as a tapestry come to life.
Set pieces are competently executed and vocal performances are solid but there’s a lack of sparkling one-liners and the grand finale lacks the big emotional wallop.