Awfully Good: Sir Billi with Sean Connery
I'm happy to say INSIDE OUT is a glorious return to form for Pixar. On the complete opposite end of the animated spectrum is…
Sir Billi (2012)
Director: Sascha Hartmann
Stars: Sean Connery, Alan Cumming, Ruby Wax
An elderly skateboarding veterinarian is the only man heroic enough to save Bessie Boo the Beaver from Scottish genocide.
Ever since Sean Connery retired from acting after the disastrous LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, fans have clamored for the legendary actor to return to the big screen. Surely, any Sean Connery was better than no Sean Connery, right?
WE WERE WRONG. WE WERE SO WRONG.
I'll take THE RAPISTS for $100, Alex.
Awfully Good has featured some truly terrible kids movies, such as Nazi supermarket propaganda film FOOD FIGHT! and drug-fuelled nightmare THE OOGIELOVES, and SIR BILLI fits right alongside those in the pantheon of WTF? Children's Cinema. Also known as GUARDIAN OF THE HIGHLANDS in the United States, SIR BILLI was billed as the first Scottish-made CG animated film. Now, I don't know if it was simply cultural differences or something in the drinking water in Glasgow, but this is easily one of the weirdest examples of the genre ever created—a children's movie filled with death and suffering, off-putting sexuality, and headache-inducing confusion.
Even animated Sean Connery is still angry at his agent for turning down Gandalf and Morpheus.
Sean Connery's not immune to the occasional stinker (see his turn in the non-Marvel AVENGERS), but I have no idea what attracted him to this project aside from some misplaced form of Scottish pride. I refuse to believe that the actor read the script for this and said "Hmmm, a grandfather who loves extreme sports and animal rights. Get my agent on the phone!" In fact, the title characters feels like such a James Bond parody that it would almost seem offensive to the actor. The movie opens with a Bond-style credits sequence complete with Shirley Bassey theme song and sexy women and animals dancing in silhouette. And in case that doesn't drive home the point, there's also his random spy car filled with gadgets/weapons (just what every veterinarian needs) and a disturbing number of busty women trying to go to bed with him.
Ah, so that explains why he did this movie.
SIR BILLI takes place in a weird world where humans and talking animals coexist in odd ways. In the beginning, we're introduced to a duck that's allowed to fly a plane, but then we learn that for whatever reason, all beavers have been outlawed in Scotland and ordered put to death. We see police officers in the Special Beaver Unit (hehe) callously load the animals in to a truck headed for mass extinction, only for the vehicle to crash, allowing one young beaver named Bessie Boo to escape said species cleansing. Cut to five years later and the beaver has been adopted by a family of rabbits and they all head out to go log surfing. Apparently getting dragged down a cliff by a giant tree isn't as safe as you'd assume, and Bessie, her brother and her mother all end up falling in to a the river…a river that leads to a dam with giant turbines that will viciously incinerate all three of them.
Attention aspiring animators: Do the opposite of whatever this is.
You might be starting to ask yourself, 'Wait, does the plot of this movie really revolve around about rescuing a beaver from aquatic death?" and the answer is 100% YES. Our hero Sir Billi is called away from his day job of hot tubbing with cows because he's the only one with the skills to save Bessie Boo. And of course we learn that the river isn't the only thing trying to kill the beaver—one of the cops from the beginning has devoted his life over the last five years to finding the beaver he was supposed to murder all those years ago. Lovely! The rest of the film follows Billi's repeated rescue attempts and introduces us to a truly bizarre group of characters. There's Gordon the Goat, Billi's heterosexual (?) lifemate who dresses like The Bride from KILL BILL and is voiced by Alan Cumming. There's also Billi's bratty grandson, a sassy duck pilot, two obnoxious but chesty American bimbos, and a submarine captain who randomly shows up solely so Sean Connery can make a thinly veiled HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER reference. Seriously, it's all so stupid that it feels like an elaborate ruse just to get people to make a joke about "Sean Connery chasing beaver one last time."
Sean Connery chasing beaver one last time!
With talking animals and skateboarding grandpas, you might assume SIR BILLI is for children, but you would be completely wrong. In addition to having almost no jokes or lighthearted humor, there are tons of scenes that are blatantly scarring for young kids. When Billi finds Bessie's rabbit mom, he immediately tells his grandson about the amount of blood loss from her head trauma. Then he has a serious discussion with the goat about her potentially broken spinal cord before they force her to try and wiggle her toes to make sure that she won't be a permanent paraplegic bunny. There's also the inappropriate relationship between Billi and Gordon. When Gordon almost dies at one point, Billi has a disturbing sentimental flashback montage of all the semi-romantic times they spent together, most of which are recreations of scenes from famous movies. And finally, there's the non-stop barrage of horribly rendered busty women who sport giant cleavage. It's pretty much the exact opposite of what you want your kid to be exposed to. And to make it worse, the movie ends with all the ladies engaging in a sensual musical number onstage as Sir Billi leaves with a woman he intends to bang. In case that wasn't obvious enough, his daughter actually remarks how glad she is that her dad is finally getting together with a lassie with such an "enviable chest."
Still a better Bond Girl than Denise Richards.
For the love of God, please Sean Connery, don't make this your last film. I'll even settle for a LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN sequel.
Sean Connery being inappropriate, a bunch of immature beaver jokes, and much more.
Some of the film's most WTF moments, including animated Sean Connery skateboarding, a touching flashback to Connery and his goat, and busty ladies singing and dancing.
You'll never want to see animated cleavage again.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- You laugh when someone says "beaver"
- Somebody uses terrible 80s slang
- There's a reference to James Bond or another Sean Connery movie.
- Sean Connery says "Cellular"
- Sean Connery and the goat are a little too close.
- Something happens in slow motion
Thanks to James for suggesting this week's movie!