Sir Billi Sir Billi
CGIFeature Film

New Trailer For “Sir Billi”

Would you watch a film about a senior citizen skateboarding veterinarian voiced by Sean Connery? What happens if I told you this veterinarian has a sidekick: a gay goat in Kill Bill-style spandex with bladder control issues? Still not convinced. What if skateboarding Sean Connery and his gay goat were on a mission to save Scotland’s last beaver, Bessie Boo? This is the compelling plotline of Scotland’s first CG animated feature, Sir Billi, written and directed by the husband-and-wife team of Sascha and Tessa Hartmann.

We’ve been following Sir Billi since 2010 and we’re going to keep following it until it wins the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. The film has a newly released trailer:

The new Sir Billi trailer has a more adult vibe than the earlier preview which focused on the high-octane beaver-saving elements of the film:

The only review of Sir Billi I could find online was clearly written by someone that hates skateboarding senior citizens who befriend incontinent goats and save beavers. Plus, any family movie with a double entendre tagline like this can’t be all bad:

(Thanks, David OReilly)

  • Mac

    You might think this is a big turd, but in the history of Scottish art, it’s their equivalent of Ulysses.

  • Taylor Armstrong

    The :54 second spot/sequence baffles me…. Not even a title card…?

  • Sotiris

    This looks amazing! Tessa Hartmann was right to complain about Scotland supporting Pixar’s ‘Brave’ instead of her film. I can’t believe they preferred such a lowbrow American film as ‘Brave’ over a European avant-garde gem like ‘Sir Billi’.

    • Hannah

      I hope you’re being sarcastic…

      • Rezz

        I hope not- because that would be awesome on so many levels.

      • I hope you aren’t a detective by day….

  • I had the… *ahem*… good fortune of seeing about half of this film a few months ago. It’s pretty hideous on every level. I actually thought it was meant for kids when I saw it. But Sean Connory is pretty depressing here…he just walks through this, as opposed when he voiced Draco in Dragonheart, he at least put some effort into that performance. To his credit, the producers probably had his family at gunpoint at the recording studio to get him to do this.

    • akira

      hey, don’t blame connory for not putting more enthusiasm into this P O S. i’m sure the director was as good at directing him as he was the rest of the artists who worked on this.

      • You’re right, that joke was too hostile. I take it back.

        It’s still a pretty awful movie though.

  • HAHAHA thanks for sharing. :D
    its like a car accident that you don’t wanna see… but you cant look away.
    is there an info of how much they spent on that?

  • Glowworm

    The animation looks pretty blocky–like a low grade video game.

  • Vic

    Being English this actually depresses me(not this post,I can’t stop laughing at your commentary)I regularly post animation on my site & a lot of what I’m finding recently is French.They are a stones through away yet their history with sequential storytelling(comics!)& animation is long & rich,Britain’s is O.K,2000AD & Nick Park being the standouts..oh & back in the day,Ivor The Engine & other kids classics.
    This,I don’t know what this is.I’m glad the Scottish are so eager to distance themselves from Britain if this is their cultural output.**Sigh**

    • Tom

      “The Scottish”

      Half of the Illusionist was made by Scottish Industry professionals. Many are working at small studios. Others at Axis. The rest are in the games industry.

      Who the f*** knows who made this film? It could have been outsourced to any country in the world. Go on their site:

      “Billi Productions Ltd, an independent film company, based in Glasgow, Scotland.”

      It doesn’t say that any Scottish person made it.
      A production company centred soley around the creation of this single terrible film, doesn’t that ring any alarm bells? Someone had too much money and too little talent.

  • Sotiris

    Best. Tagline. Ever!

  • CG Animator

    I don’t know how it’s possible, but I think it’s gotten even more hideous then the last time I saw a trailer for this thing…

  • Eman

    I’m sickened, but curious.

  • Sarah J

    The movie looks like it was made entirely with stock animation character models.

    And it’s glorious.

  • CG Animator

    You know, someone could write several very long blog posts on what’s so technically wrong with the poses the characters are making in the first picture and the poster…

  • Manu R

    I’m confused. How did they manage to make it look so ugly? Most 3D applications will render nicer than that at their default settings.

    It takes a concerted effort to degrade the visual quality to this extend. They must have hired a TD to write them a set of shaders to capture that OpenGL look. It’s the only possible explanation. But why?

    Let’s see… the 8-bit retro look has been going for a while now, maybe the next retro look to catch on is the OpenGL look. Of course, that’s it! How could I be so blind! How could I be so foolish! How could we all be so foolish!


  • The Illusionist was the first Scottish animated feature. It was made primarily in Edinburgh and Dundee in partnership with companies in France and S.Korea, it was set in Scotland and opened the Edinburgh film festival that year. This was nearly Scotland’s first animated feature, but sadly it didn’t quite make it.

    • I wrote this is “Scotland’s first CG animated feature” and Illusionist wasn’t a CG film.

      • Sorry Amid, I stand corrected.

  • Sir Billi isn’t the hero the animation industry needs, Sir Billi is the hero the animation industry deserves.

  • There is no need to comment on the quality of this as a one eyed man on a galloping horse couldn’t fail in noticing it’s short comings. However, they raised the money to make this. There is hope for everyone to do likewise… well, not ‘likewise’ entirely

    • d.harry

      Mick, no one stands a chance in hell of raising money after this one hits the market!

      • I hope that isn’t the case.

        I always find this type of thing fascinating in that it reaches such a point without anyone (animators, designers, producers or friends of anyone working on the project) saying anything about the quality. I mean this really is quite severely poor with extremely odd choices in almost every department. It’s the equivalent of a whole team of builders constructing a house with no roof and no one says a word. It’s a real head scratcher since ‘anyone’ can see the problems, let alone people paid to make things like this look presentable

  • Julian Carter

    I was going to suggest that a feature film plot involving the rescue of beavers from being ground to death in a dam turbine could be good if the film is executed as a farce or as a direct parody of the epic, oh-so-serious, big budget movie.

    Still even if it worked that way, the animation and designs would still have to be up to snuff. These clearly aren’t.

  • lurkio

    Ugly – but this is a typical symptom of low budget films.

    Check out the spaghetti scene, the women show no thought process what so ever. She doesn’t even respond midway in the way he does – losing the illusion of life! and then theres weighting issues throughout the whole piece…

    • Funkybat

      There is no reason in this day and age for even a no-budget film to look this bad. I’ve seen second-year 3D animation student test cycles that looked better than this. The software and (sadly) the artists needed to utilize the software properly come cheaper than ever today. The visuals look straight out of the year 2000, the story is impossible to discern from any of the footage seen so far, and the fact that this could very well be Sean Connery’s last acting role is incredibly depressing. I mean, Raul Julia’s last role being M. Bison, that sucked. But this…….I just don’t have words.

      I really hope Sir Sean does at least one other film before he “fully retires.” Otherwise, we’ll all just have to pretend his last role was the one where he said “You’re the man now, dog!”

  • The hair looks like 2002-era Fiber Factory hair. That ain’t cool. Neither is the whole rest of everything about this weird thing.

  • Glen

    When will they animate this?

    • Polecat

      Why will they animate this?

  • Funkybat

    “We’ve been following Sir Billi since 2010 and we’re going to keep following it until it wins the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.”


    You, sir, have a very dry sense of humor. (Golf clap)

    Yeah, so this movie looks like it’s this decade’s “Delgo.” Been “in production” forever, added time and effort seem to have no appreciable effect on the visual quality, and the continued involvement of prominent actor(s) given what can be seen remains baffling.

    There were a lot of people complaining over in the “Escape From Planet Earth” post about how cheap and cliche that film looks, but compared to this, it’s the next Toy Story. Hell, “Alpha and Omega” is “Despicable Me” compared to this movie…

  • I…..????….What???……Uh……..Who?…….oh forget it.

  • scottishanim

    Dear world,

    please do not see this as being representative of what the Scottish animation industry is capable of producing.

    this is what you get when you have 10 years, and daddy’s millions to play with.

  • Randy

    My God….the main character’s Wife has to be the most butt-ugly character to be made in the last two decades.
    This whole thing looks like something out of 1999 and the trailer makes no sense at all.
    Way to NOT make a decent film, folks!

  • Mal

    This trailer is quite old, it was on You Tube a couple of years back, I thought it had been burried. Perhaps they released it on DVD to try and get their losses back a bit. It’s clearly a vanity project by a couple who obviously have a knack of talking people into things.
    I read elsewhere on the net, the guy insisted on directing it himself, and didn’t listen to animators’ advice, many from Europe, some who were allegedly paid so little they were financially ‘marooned’ in Scotland until it was completed. It’s no big deal and doesn’t represent the U.K animation undustry, or our home grown talent. I teach students who can do better than this in their early years.

    • Ken


  • Ken

    As a Scottish animator, this depresses me. There is a lot of Scottish talent, this doesn’t reflect that fact.

  • Dear Animation community;
    as many above have said, this monstrous film does not represent the wealth of animation talent currently in Scotland; one only need look at the International success of Edinburgh College of Art’s Will Anderson with his multi award winning THE MAKING OF LONGBIRD, not to mention creative studios such as Axis Animation, Red Kite and Kolik Films.
    Mark your diaries for 2014, when we hope you will join us in Scotland celebrating animation with the centenary of a highly regarded film maker.

  • Michel Van

    “Sir Billi” is that kind of Movie.
    that end up in bank vault forever,
    while production studio are burn to ground,
    to destroy all evidence of this “atrocities”
    and worker start hiding for the rest of there short live…

  • I love that it trumpets ‘the voice of Alan Cumming’ and all he says in the trailer is, “AHHHH!” and “Nooooo!” Completely accurate to my own sentiment about the trailer itself.

  • Polecat

    There’s “Gregory’s Girl”, and then there’s this.

    The Scottish film industry looks like it’s devolving.

    • Polecat

      Well, now that I’ve seen the trailer twice, I’m beginning to sense the presence of Bialystock and Bloom.

  • crazygorses

    I actually worked on this movie (like, 6 years ago) and the Hartmanns are delusional egomaniacs. Got out as soon as I could….