Sir Billi (U)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner13/09/2013

One out of Five stars
Running time: 75 mins

Mind-numbingly dreadful animated comedy that wastes a talented voice cast thanks to incoherent direction, appalling animation and a smutty, innuendo-laden script that's inappropriate for children and painfully unfunny for adults.

What's it all about?
Directed by Sascha Hartmann (whose wife, Tessa, wrote the script), Sir Billi is a Scottish animated adventure set in the Highlands where the beaver-hating government are trying to exterminate the last beaver in the land. However, the government's forces have reckoned without octogenarian, skateboard-loving veterinarian Sir Billi, the self-appointed Guardian of the Highlands, who sets out to rescue beleaguered beaver Bessie Boo (voiced by the writer and director's daughter, Valentina Hartmann) with the aid of his camp goat sidekick Gordon (Alan Cumming) and assorted villagers, including Ruby Wax-alike American Patti Turner (Ruby Wax).

The Bad
There's so much wrong with Sir Billi that it's difficult to know where to begin. For one thing, the storytelling is borderline incoherent, with a confused mess of a plot (for some reason, the beaver turns out to be unable to swim) and far too many pointless characters. On top of that, it's hard to see who the film is actually aimed at, since the smutty, innuendo-laden script is inappropriate for its presumed target audience of young children and isn't remotely funny for adults.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the animation itself is so bad that it's actually painful to look at, with garish colours and character designs that look like they've been knocked up on a Nintendo Wii by a five year old (one can only presume Connery leant his voice to the project before he got a look at his Sir Billi character, which resembles the man himself in a less than flattering way).

The Worse
There's only one halfway decent thing about Sir Billi and that's the Bond-like opening credits sequence (gyrating silhouettes, etc), complete with a song sung by Shirley Bassey, though it seems bafflingly out of place even before the film has started. Bizarrely, the Bond references keep coming, from repeated music stings to one-liners, despite the fact that what you're watching on screen bears no resemblance to Bond at all, other than Connery voicing the lead character (this culminates in Sir Billi driving off into the sunset with a busty American blonde, leering at the camera remarking ‘The things I do for Schcotland...’).

Worth seeing?
Sir Billi is woeful on every conceivable level, from the toe-curlingly dreadful dialogue to the inept direction and painful-to-look-at animation. Avoid like your life depended on it. Unwatchable.

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Content updated: 21/10/2017 07:43

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