Bill and Coo
|Bill and Coo|
|Directed by||Dean Riesner|
|Produced by||Ken Murray|
|Written by||Dean Riesner|
|Distributed by||Republic Pictures|
The 61-minute live-action film stars many types of birds, including budgies, commonly known in the US as parakeets, and lovebirds. The film also features other trained animals, including cats, dogs and a crow. With the exception of three humans (producer Ken Murray, bird trainer George Burton, and Elizabeth Walters) in a short set-up segment before the opening credits, the film features an all-animal cast. The film was shot on the world's second smallest film set, a miniature village built onto a 15' x 30' (4.57m X 9.14m) tabletop.
The film received an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the "Oscars") "In which artistry and patience blended in a novel and entertaining use of the medium of motion pictures."
It was also one of the first films to be released to cinemas on slow-burning acetate 'Safety Film' as opposed to the dangerously inflammable nitrate stock used up until then. Initially, projectionists reported film damage due to the acetate base being less 'slippery' than that of nitrate (celluloid) based film. Before long it was found that a thin coating of wax applied along the film edges solved this problem.
The plot of the film is that the birds live in a fictional, peaceful town named Chirpendale. A crow arrives known as the Black Menace. As his name suggests, the Black Menace terrorizes the town. The story follows the adventures of the hero Bill, a cab driver, as he tries to save Coo and the rest of the town's inhabitants from certain destruction.
- Bill and Coo on IMDb
- Bill and Coo is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- Bill and Coo
- Elizabeth Walters tells the story of Bill and Coo