Sir Billi

From Scotland with love comes the most peculiar project of Sean Connery's career, a woefully anemic animated feature that counts the actor's trademark brogue as its most marketable asset.

With:
With: Ford Kiernan, Alana Gray, Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Eliot Doyle.

From Scotland with love comes the most peculiar project of Sean Connery’s career, a woefully anemic animated feature that counts the actor’s trademark brogue as its most marketable asset. Still, a celebrity voice does not a hit toon make, and despite Connery’s support — it was he who encouraged director Sascha Hartmann to expand his 20-minute short — “Sir Billi” lacks the looks or charm of even the most rudimentary CG offerings being made today, as if not only the animation but also the plot and characters were spat out by off-the-shelf software.

An octogenarian veterinarian who bears a less-than-flattering resemblance to Connery, Sir Billi makes his entrance surprisingly late in this convoluted series of silly setpieces, centered around the hunt for Scotland’s last beaver — no double-O entendres, please. After an over-zealous animal-control officer accidentally releases the ugly rodent into the wild, Sir Billi and his sidekick goat (Alan Cumming, doing a poor man’s Donkey from “Shrek”) step in to rescue the poor critter. Pic’s simplistic story and non-sequitur style were clearly designed to entertain those too young to appreciate its many James Bond in-jokes, including a trippy Shirley Bassey-sung titles sequence.

Sir Billi

Scotland

Production: A Glasgow Animation/Billi Prods. production. Produced by John Fortune Fraser, Tessa Hartmann, Sascha Hartmann. Executive producer, Sean Connery. Directed by Sascha Hartmann. Screenplay, Tessa Hartmann; story, Tessa Hartmann, Sascha Hartmann.

Crew: Camera (color); editor, Steven Weisberg; music, Patrick Doyle; production designer/art director, Sascha Hartmann. Reviewed on Blu-ray, Los Angeles, April 12, 2012. (In Sonoma Film Festival.) Running time: 75 MIN.

With: With: Ford Kiernan, Alana Gray, Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Eliot Doyle.

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