“Sir Billi”

In a effort to be less negative, and a bit more postive, I hereby post the following image from the upcoming feature film Sir Billi without editorial comment:

So what do you think? Sir Billi is a new animated feature film starring the voice of Sean Connery. The movie centers on a “retired, skateboarding veterinarian who lives in a remote Scottish village and who spearheads the rescue of an illegal fugitive who also happens to be a beaver.” A complete plot synopsis is posted at Collider.com. Connery is a producer on the film. It’s Scotland’s first full-length animated feature, Sascha Hartmann is directing Sir Billi from a screenplay written by his wife Tessa. The film is scheduled for release later this year. Here’s a video of Connery comparing the film to Ice Age and why he turned down doing voice over for Disney.

(Thanks, Mukpddy)


  • http://www.heibies.deviantart.com Phil

    Hahaha! Oh jeez. What did Sean Connery do for this dose of bad karma?

  • peter wassink

    O.k. i’ll be positive as well.
    -the colors are bright.
    (not as dull as those in that other first Scottish full-length animated feature, “The Illusionist”)
    -a Skateboarding doctor, kids will love this.
    -Scottish accents, always funny.

  • http://ewangreen.blogspot.com Ewan

    This sort of thing is all too common in Scotland. It has a similair feel to a childrens’ pantomime I was in when I was eight. They could do with having the whole movie framed by a dusty youth centre stage curtains and have Sir Billi played by a young woman from an amateur dramatic society.
    Why is the Saltire so long?

  • Bob

    I will be positive too! :)

    I positively hate this with my every being! :)

  • tgentry

    Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. That is… wow. Uh….

  • Simon

    It’s sure to be the best feature animated film ever to come from Scotland!

  • Casper the friendly executive

    Oh God, I want to be positive too, bit this has painful vanity project written all over it. Still a new ‘Freddie as F.R.O.7′ was overdue and that’s always been a guilty pleasure.

  • diego

    Sean Connery is 80 years old.

  • http://hellohue.blogspot.com Hellohue

    Maybe one of the problems is that Connery read the script first before seeing any animation (so it seems)

    ‘Those people that make Ice Age and Shrek, yknow, at Pixar, must be kicking themselves that they haven’t got your dulcet tones on their movie!’ –interviewer in the video linked above

    Oh, so it’s one of these films, when independent filmmakers think they can make a fast buck with star voice casts. Recent trends have shown audiences don’t give a damn about that. Oh and of course the film LOOKS horrible, absolutely terrible. When it’s clear that a CG production isn’t looking as good as it should, why don’t smaller companies just make drawn features?

  • Inkan1969

    Didn’t “Braveheart” assert that it used to be tradition for Scottish troops to moon the enemy as a sign of disrespect?

    I think that nowadays, Scots will show you this still instead if they want to show disrespect to you. :-)

  • Anonymous

    Good for them for trying, but I doubt it’s going to be very successful…but I wonder where people get this idea that animation is quick, easy or simple?

    It’s actually quite hard to do well!

  • Mark

    “Sascha Hartmann is directing Sir Billi from a screenplay written by his wife Tessa. ”

    That’s always a great start.

    “It’s a heart warming adventure with a life affirming story about love and friendship that will appeal to kids of all ages.”

    ugh.

  • startstop

    I’m gonna be positive too!

    ……… it’s a FILM! There! Yay!

  • John A

    It’ll take an awful lot of scotch for me to say something positive about this.

  • http://selcouthblog.blogspot.com Mesterius

    I’m POSITIVELY fascinated by the fact that Sean Connery refused to star in Indiana Jones 4, yet he is perfectly fine with voicing and producing a film that looks like this.

  • http://pizzasketchbook.blogspot.com Kingfish

    This is obviously one of the ugliest things ever, but we have stuff just as bad in the US. It’s very amateurish-looking, like something out of a first year student animation class. I have a feeling Sean Connery just doesn’t understand movies anymore and tends to go against his gut (there’s a quote to this effect on his wikipedia page)

  • Chris B

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  • http://www.frankrause.com Fran Krause

    I think the duck in the lower left corner is going to get his own spinoff.

  • Jason

    It looks like characters from Jimmy Neutron’s town took residence in some hyperrealistic mountain town. For some reason I find this unsettling. Very beautiful backgrounds and set pieces; it has those going for it.

  • http://www.sexymecha.com Hal

    Movies he DID make: THE AVENGERS, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, ZARDOZ (admittedly the latter is pretty amazing)…
    Movies Sir Connery turned down: STAR WARS, THE MATRIX, THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    Just sayin’

  • http://crowsmack.blogspot.com/ Gibbs Rainock

    Not sure how to respond to this…makes me sad I guess…sigh

  • keez

    I’m Scottish and I heard about this years ago, I originally thought it was a short film a college group made and one of them somehow managed to get Connery and some voices from local Scottish TV since it was the only thing going.
    You’ll probably not see this in a HMV or a Virgin, maybe a bargin bin at Tesco or at an ungodly price at a Scottish themed gift shop.

  • Erin

    What did they do to Lucky??!!

  • Chris J.

    Looks strangely like the Nick series “Back at the Banyard,” except – well, there’s just no other way to say it, is there? – not as well done. Character design is deeply rooted in the “grotesque” milieu that I personally despise.

  • http://tangoland.com Cynthia

    Shoot me now. Shoot me now.

  • mac

    To let everyone know……..this does not represent the state of the animation industry in Scotland!! It’s basically a rich boy spending daddy’s money on his pet project. The images i saw for it about 6 years ago actually looked a lot worse than these!
    Connery is well known for being a nationalist……..when he’s not at home in the Bahamas!

  • Dave Taylor

    Jeez what sad folks you all are – how can you possibly tell without having seen anything? Isn’t creative industries about being positive and nurturing talent – I read these guys have taken 5 years to get this done, so I say go for it young indie animation company – I have no clue what it will be like by heh, they’re doing more than you sad people moaning and griping on this website who clearly are just jealous. Here’s a thought all of you – why don’t you start a company, gather creative staff, raise the almighty finance and invest 5 years of your life – ehhhh no, thought as much – by the way- Connery was apparently offered $25m to do the last Indie and he said no – so by rights that means these canny Scots people have that asset in their business – that’s a thought for you too ehh!

  • Danna M.

    Well said Dave – for what it’s worth, I’m dying to see it – being a animator working in the UK, it will be nice to see something come from Europe instead of all those clinical big studio features – and here’s a thought – you can say what you want about the story line but at least it’s original or should they have done what all the big US studios do – heh, let’s rewrite an old fairytale – yes, there’s a novel idea!!!!

  • NC

    The question I have to ask is why Oh, why is THIS the film Sean Connery came out of retirement for?

  • Chris

    Yeah just what all those big studios do… like that old fairy tale Up, or Madagascar, or this really old well known one Kung Fu Panda.

    I’m glad you guys worked on it or whatever but I think it is very logical to come to a negative opinion about this film based on that still. It is perhaps one of the most amateurish looking thing I’ve ever seen. I see first year students produce more accomplished looking artwork and chances are the people “griping” on this website probably could too!

    Danna M.- It will be a lot nicer to see quality features come from Europe like The Illusionist or The Monster of Paris.

  • Christopher Smigliano

    This looks like the animated equivalent to Haggis.

  • http://hellohue.blogspot.com Hellohue

    Animation is not easy, it is expensive, time consuming, taxing. So that’s all the more reason to make sure it comes out RIGHT! This film seems even more ‘clinical’ than a ‘big studio’ production, a film solely centred round a star cast and very confused and unappealing design, not to mention the cliched story.

    I don’t believe the people who made this film are animators, or even filmmakers, but more akin to businessmen looking for trends to make a quick buck and get rich. Well, the public shan’t fall for it. There have been better independent features to come out of Europe in the last year than this mess, so being ‘independent’ and ‘trying’ is no excuse. Alongside the likes of Secret of Kells and The Illusionists, films made with passion from the creators’ hearts, against all odds and funds, this would be laughed at and forgotten.

    Won’t it be biting irony when Pixar’s The Bear and the Bow ends up being more Scottish than this.

  • Warhead

    MY GOD… Sean Frigging Connery turned down a role in a Pixar film for THIS!? I thought he had more class than that! He was James Bond for crying out loud!

  • http://seedlesschicken.com what in the cel?

    Totally radical dude! This film is gonna be so in touch with today’s young audience I bet it brings angst teens and troubled parents together at last. Finally a skateboarding doctor that won’t talk down to the youth of today. Oh but he’s retired you say…. I do hope he pulls out the gnarly but deadly super triple flip deluxe-o-doodle skate trick out from retirement. And who doesn’t love the juxtaposition of a fugitive beaver? I’m already pre-ordering the toys. In fact I’m gonna go father me some children just so I can bond with them over this movie.

    BTW.. does the person in the giant green hat look like Disney’s Queen of Hearts from the 2D Alice in Wonderland?

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    The character design looks like something from those “Sea Monkey” ads that were in comic books in the 60′s.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • http://thedreamerskingdom.org TK

    I’m surprised no one mentioned this yet: Hoodwinked!

  • Animator

    ok, i don’t think anyone is seeing the point instead of mocking it give it a chance …why are people so quick to shoot others down instead of showing encouragement and support. I don’t think this is about the money or to make a ‘quick buck’ considering they have been doing it for 5years isn’t exactly a quick way to make money. It frustrates me how many negative people there are out there, clearly it is jealously … i don’t care if ppl think its amateurish or a ‘clichéd story’ you haven’t even seen it yet so until you do maybe you should keep your childish and petty comments to yourselves! ..and get a life!

  • Casper the friendly executive.

    Yes, it’s wrong to judge anything on a single image (or website) but amazingly amateurish artistic decisions really do seem to be all over this one. From bad typography (five different fonts on the poster alone ) to big headed characters standing against a photo-realistic background – directed by a guy who has never made a feature film before from a script by his wife who’s never written one before, with some paintings by Sean Connery’s spouse stuck in there somewhere too.

    It doesn’t sound like it’s boldly striking out to tell a fresh kind of story or represent a different culture (like ‘Kells.’) It’s sounds like it’s trying to tick lots of well worn family film boxes and flatter the big name star they’ve managed to rope in because he’s a Scottish nationalist (apart from actually living there) and they’ve made the lead character look like him.

    Good for anyone who gets anything new off the ground in the current climate and provides some jobs, but I really wish someone had taken Sir Sean aside and had a quiet word.

    For some good children’s (short) films made in the UK recently check out ‘Lost and Found’, ‘The Gruffalo’ or Mark Craste’s ‘Vermints’, two of these were adapted from books written by people who actually had a fresh story they wanted to tell children, and all of them look lovely.

  • http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/ Bitter Animator

    As Keez said, this was at some point a short film. I haven’t heard of it in about two years and I thought it was long dead. I know someone who was involved in the production at one point and it sounded like a complete train wreck.

    You never know, maybe it will end up art by accident. Unlikely though.

  • Lara Smith

    Here’s to Sean Connery’s health: Orson Welles’ last film performance was voicing the planet-eating Transformer, Unicron.

  • Tago

    Don’t be to unkind, finance behind The Illusionist came from the same creative business minds behind this trash piece of European independent animation.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1239462/

  • s.w.a.c.

    I hear Mike Myers has a lot of free time these days…

  • Scott M

    I agree with Casper’s remarks. It looks to me like a large group project at a College or University.

    I’m all for giving things a shot, but when they put out stuff that looks like first year student work, and they’ve spent nearly 6 years on it, I start to question the leadership. Especially from the horror stories I’ve heard from friends-of-friends about the bosses intimidating the animators with things like “Work more, we can always replace you”.

    Good luck to all working on this.

  • Meredith D.

    I’ll probably skip this film based on character design alone. Who knows, maybe it’ll be great. I couldn’t bring myself to see “Fantastic Mr. Fox” because of the character design either, and everyone says it was great.

  • Wiseguy

    The movie is actually not based in Scotland. You can tell by the
    flag. It’s based in Scoooooooooooooooooootlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand
    according to the proportions of the flag.

    Moreover the picture is a very intelligent rebus:
    -count the characters with lights in their mouths
    -which duck swam in radioactive water?
    -is the goat gay or a nazi?

    And that’s just a still – imagine the things moving!

    The rich boy comment is very, very, very, very, very, very, very,
    did I say very? very true.