Sir Billi (or Guardian of the Highlands in America) is a 2012 Scottish computer animated adventure-comedy film made by the husband and wife team of Sascha and Tessa Hartmann and their production company known as Billi Productions. The film had been in development for several years, with a 30 minute short version released in 2006, but expanded into 80 minutes 6 years later.
An old, retired skateboarding veterinarian named Sir Billi goes above and beyond the call of responsibility, fighting villainous policemen and strong-armed lairds with the help of his pet goat Gordon in a battle to save an illegal fugitive — Bessie Boo the beaver.
Why It Sucks
- HORRIFIC animation and character designs. The textures are very muddled, while the characters models are weirdly shaped, have weird facial expressions, and have a white outline that makes them look like they got cut out of paper. The female designs also have cleavage showing, despite the movie being family-friendly.
- Bland plot.
- Repetitive dialogue and acting. Sean Connery's acting in particular is all over the place, and sounds very weak and tired in certain scenes.
- Uninteresting characters.
- Inappropriate jokes for a children's film, including a recurring joke about "smelly beavers".
- Bessie Boo the beaver is annoying and constantly cries nonstop!
- The Hartmanns threw a massive hissyfit when the Scottish National Party chose to promote Disney-Pixar's Brave instead of their film.
- Wasted the talent of Sean Connery, which ruined his career as an actor, since this is officially his final film role. It also wasted the talents of Alan Cumming, Patrick Doyle, Miriam Margolyes, Ford Kieman, Ruby Wax, Alex Norton, and others who were involved in the film.
- The American title, "Guardian of the Highlands," sounds very generic and would fit better in a fantasy-themed movie.
- The film's theme song and opening pay a nice homage to James Bond, referring to Sean Connery's iconic portrayal of the character.
- The soundtrack, by former Harry Potter composer Patrick Doyle, is quite good.
This film has been forgotten about, although it was universally panned by critics, complete with a 0% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Several reviewers have compared it to Foodfight! due to the poor animation, inappropriately adult humor, and surprising involvement of some well-known actors.
- This was touted as Scotland's first CG film; it had originally been promoted as the first-ever animated film from Scotland, but production took so long that it had lost that title to The Illusionist by the time it was actually released.
- This film stars Sean Connery in his final acting role before retiring. He had already announced his retirement after his bad experience working on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but came out of retirement as a favor to the film's producer, and also because it was a voice only role.
- Though the finished film credits only 15 animators, over a hundred were supposedly involved in the course of production, with most of them either being fired, quitting, or taking their name off the film. Several of them have since come forward to criticise the Hartmanns' handling of the film.
- Reportedly , the Hartmanns sent complaints to the Scottish Nation Government because they chose to promote Disney-Pixar's film Brave rather than Sir Billi.