Belfast Telegraph

Connery animated role to be shown

Sir Sean Connery is the star of Scotland's first animated feature film, which will make its international debut next month.

The former 007 star came out of retirement in 2006 to voice the title role in Sir Billi.

It tells the story of a skateboarding grandfather and vet who lives in a remote Highland village. Accompanied by faithful companion Gordon the Goat, played by Alan Cumming, Sir Billi sets out to rescue Bessie Boo, a beaver who has fallen off a cliff.

Billi Productions, founded in Glasgow by husband and wife team Sascha and Tessa Hartmann, had planned to make a 30-minute film but a positive reception from test audiences encouraged them to turn it into an 80-minute feature.

The producers say the film will be shown at Sonoma International Film Festival in San Francisco, in the US next month.

TV presenter Gail Porter is the voice of Sir Billi's daughter, single mother Lady Serena.

Richard Briers, Miriam Margoyles, Ruby Wax and comedian Ford Kiernan also appear in the cast.

They hope to emulate the success of high-profile Hollywood movies that have used computer-generated imagery, such as Shrek, Ice Age, Finding Nemo and Over The Hedge.

Sir Sean said: "I'm excited to be a part of this incredible film and Scotland's first animated feature. Sir Billi is truly a first-class film with an exceptional cast and is sure to delight audiences of all ages."

Filmmaker Sascha said: "From day one we knew Sir Sean was perfect for the role of Sir Billi, being a true Scottish hero and also a grandfather himself. No matter how many times I hear his legendary voice on the film, it still gives me a thrill."

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