Sir Sean Connery, the actor best known for originating the role of James Bond, is making his first foray into animation with Sir Billi the Vet, a CG short film being produced by independent toon studio Glasgow Animation Ltd. Connery and Glasgow have formed Billi Prods. Ltd. to complete the pic, for which the Academy Award-winning thespian will voice the title role.
Sir Billi the Vet is described as a heart warming story about the power of a remote, yet international, Scottish community held together by an eccentric veterinarian who shunned his aristocratic roots to live with the villagers. In his efforts to save a rambunctious rabbit named Bessie Boo, Sir Billi sets out on a magical highland adventure with his trusty companion Gordon the Goat, voiced by Tony award winner Alan Cumming (X2: X-Men United, Spy Kids 2).
Glasgow spent more than three years developing the project and raising funds before snagging Connery, who will be joined in the voice cast by Miriam Margolyes (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Babe: Pig in the City), Richard Briers (Monarch of the Glen, Peter Pan), Barbara Rafferty (The Wicker Man, River City), Alex Norton (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Taggart), Gail Porter (Dead Famous) Ford Kiernan (Chewing the Fat, The Last Great Wilderness) and comedian/broadcaster Ruby Wax.
The musical score is being provided by Golden Globe-winning Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, who recently completed the score for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Doyle will also lend his voice to a key character in the movie.
The film is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Sascha and Tessa Hartmann, co-founders of Glasgow Animation. “It’s utter passion and determination that has kept us going and we’ve done it with our own ‘wee’ team in Glasgow,” says Tessa. “From the casting of such wonderful voice over talent to the incredible amount of pre-production work, which included months of research, to finally raising the finance and seeing a full team of animators in our offices in Glasgow, is like a dream come true.’
The Hartmanns and their company plan to introduce Billi at film festivals in 2006. The short is due for completion early next summer. Glasgow Animation can be found on the web at www.glasgowanimation.com.