Paulie

Paulie

5.0 4
Director: John Roberts

Cast: John Roberts, Jay Mohr, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin

     
 

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In the Babe tradition of talking animatronic animals, this comedy adventure gets underway when animal-research-lab janitor Misha (Tony Shalhoub) expresses concern for a Blue-crown Conure parrot named Paulie (voice of Jay Mohr) caged in a dank basement. Misha settles back as Paulie tells his life story, seen in flashback: When Paulie was owned by little MarieSee more details below

Overview

In the Babe tradition of talking animatronic animals, this comedy adventure gets underway when animal-research-lab janitor Misha (Tony Shalhoub) expresses concern for a Blue-crown Conure parrot named Paulie (voice of Jay Mohr) caged in a dank basement. Misha settles back as Paulie tells his life story, seen in flashback: When Paulie was owned by little Marie (Hallie Kate Eisenberg), the parrot helped the little girl get rid of her stutter. After Marie tried to teach Paulie how to fly, he wound up in a pawnshop owned by Artie (Buddy Hackett), where he got an education in one-liners. Paulie and Ivy (Gena Rowlands) learn Marie's family is in LA, so Ivy agrees to drive Paulie cross-country in her RV. However, Marie goes blind and dies. Paulie is forced to fly to LA, where small-time entrepreneur Ignacio (Cheech Marin), with an eye for talent, talons and tacos, puts Paulie to work as a dancer at his taco-stand, where Paulie gets a birds-eye view of a female parrot with pretty plumage. Unfortunately, researcher Dr. Reingold (Bruce Davison), convinced Paulie can bring him academic recognition, steps in with a false promise to link the parrot up with Marie. Betrayed, Paulie refuses to speak anything other than the standard "want-a-cracker" lines, resulting in solitary confinement. Misha, who knows why the caged bird talks, hopes to free Paulie for an eventual reunion with Marie. Animal stunt coordinator Boone Narr and Stan Winston animatronics brought Paulie to life. For another fine-feathered film, see Dean Riesner's Bill and Coo (1947); the film's all-bird cast (dressed in human clothing) brought a "Special Award" for producer Ken Murray during the 1948 Oscar ceremony.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
A movie about an animatronic talking parrot might give viewers that kind of uneasy "been there, done that" vibe from a hundred other unsuccessful kiddie movies, but Paulie generates a comfortable blend of warmth and sarcasm that shrugs off any advanced bias. Hip comedian Jay Mohr was a wise choice for the voice of the wisecracking bird, and in an especially fun scene, the actor himself shows up as a small-time hood trying to use the bird as an accomplice on his heists, bringing the two into a kind of doppelganger conversation. One of Paulie's unexpected strengths -- though some might consider it a plot hole -- is that few of Paulie's human acquaintances are flabbergasted by his ability to speak. Instead, they treat the amiable but tactless bird as an equal, engaging in talks about universal truths as though his status as a sentient creature were a given. Tony Shalhoub is the standout among the humans, as the humble Russian janitor who thinks that tangerines taste "delirious," but all of the recognizable actors submit game cameos. Because it came from DreamWorks, as part of the studio's initial spate of family themed films (including Antz and Mouse Hunt), the visual effects used to animate the parrot are first rate. Paulie is memorable for matter-of-factly creating a fairy-tale environment in which suspension of disbelief is surprisingly easy, and the results are more sweet than cloying.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929314096
Original Release:
1998
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Sales rank:
17,464

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jay Mohr Paulie,Benny
Tony Shalhoub Misha
Cheech Marin Ignacio
Bruce Davison Dr. Reingold
Gena Rowlands Ivy
Trini Alvarado Adult Marie
Tia Texada Lupe,Ruby
Matt Craven Warren Alweather
Bill Cobbs Virgil
Laura Harrington Lila Alweather
Hallie Kate Eisenberg Marie
Buddy Hackett Artie

Technical Credits
John Roberts Director
John Berger Set Decoration/Design
Bruce Cannon Editor
Laurie Craig Screenwriter
John Debney Score Composer
Banned From The Ranch Entertainment Special Effects
Risa Bramon Garcia Casting
Joseph Geisinger Sound/Sound Designer
Mark Gordon Producer
Sarah Halley-Finn Casting
Randi Hiller Casting
Sony Pictures Imageworks Special Effects
Gary Levinsohn Producer
Light Matters Special Effects
Ginny Nugent Executive Producer
Tony Pierce-Roberts Cinematographer
Denise Pizzini Set Decoration/Design
Hammerhead Productions Special Effects
Jeff Rafner Asst. Director
Santa Barbara Studios Special Effects
Allison Lyon Segan Producer
Tom Taylor Art Director
Dennis Washington Production Designer
Michele Weisler Co-producer
Mary Zophres Costumes/Costume Designer

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