The 1988 movie Paulie featured a blue-crowned conure as the main character — first time for a parrot.
Paulie: (noun) Released in 1998, this family comedy/adventure movie stars a blue-crowned conure named Paulie. Although there have been many movies where the main star is a dog, cat or horse, this is the second American-made full-length feature starring a parrot. (The first is Bill and Coo, 1948.)The original screen play was written by Laurie Craig and the movie directed by John Roberts. It stars Gena Rowlands, Tony Shalhoub, Cheech Marin and comedian/actor Jay Mohr as the voice of Paulie.
Basic synopsis is that Paulie, who lives practically forgotten in a research center, tells his life story to Misha Belenkoff, a janitor and Russian immigrant, played by Tony Shalhoub. Paulie’s life started out as the beloved pet bird of a young girl named Marie until her father sells him. Paulie devotes the rest of his life to getting back to Marie and in his adventures he has several owners and jobs until he ends up at the research center. The movie Paulie won two awards: a BAFTA Children’s Award and a Bronze Gryphon. It grossed more than $27 million dollars.
Of interest to pet bird fans: The parrots in the movie were live birds. A total of 14 blue-crowned conures were trained to do various tasks in the movie, which made up the role of Paulie. There was an animatronic Paulie created for difficult or dangerous scenes, which was used in about 5 percent of the movie. It was radio controlled and could be operated from up to 200 feet away. Other parrot species in the movie were jenday, nanday and cherry-headed conures.
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