Belfast Telegraph

Connery 'thrilled' by animated film

Sir Sean Connery has said he is "thrilled" by the final version of Scotland's first full-length animated film.

The actor has voiced the leading role in Sir Billi, which had its first international screening at the Sonoma International Film Festival in San Francisco earlier.

It is the first time the Bond actor has voiced an animated character.

The film, written and directed by husband and wife team Sascha and Tessa Hartmann, tells the story of a Highland vet trying to save the last beaver in Scotland.

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.

"There's an incredible amount of work that goes into animated productions and I am delighted that Sascha and his team have completed what has been a labour of love. I am thrilled with the final cut."

The film is the first full-length animated feature to be produced entirely in Scotland.

The film's title track, Guardian Of The Highlands, is performed by Dame Shirley Bassey - making it the first time she has collaborated with Sir Sean since they both worked on Bond films. She said: "I've come here especially for this screening and just love the film - it's the second time I've seen it.

"I think Sascha did a wonderful job and I am thrilled to be part of it. It has a very distinctive look, which is great and Sean's voice is just magnificent - I especially love all the subtle Bond nuances. I get very emotional at the end of the film - there was a tear in my eye again this evening."

Director Sascha Hartmann said: "It's great to be here and share this film with a wonderful Californian audience. It was great to see the excitement and emotions that filled the Sebastiani Theatre, because this is what filmmaking is all about - conveying emotion and engaging the audience. The incredible reaction was testament that our journey was all worth it."

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