Paulie (1998)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  17 April 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 11,212 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 36 critic

Paulie, a talking parrot, recounts his travels looking for his original owner to a Russian janitor who helps him to the end of his journey.



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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Benny / Paulie (voice)
Ruby / Lupe (voice)
Laura Harrington ...
Peter Basch ...
Hal Robinson ...


Paulie, an intelligent parrot who actually talks, relates the story of his struggle to a Russian immigrant who works as a janitor at the research institute where he is housed and neglected. Paulies story begins many years earlier when he is given as a gift to a little girl who stutters. Eventually, he teaches the girl to speak correctly but is taken away by her father because he believes the girl cannot distinguish fantasy from reality because she believes the bird can talk. Paulie goes through a series of adventures with a pawn shop owner, an ageing widow, a Mexican-American troubadour and a would be thief before being taken to the institute where he now lives. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Bird is the Word See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for brief mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Polly, a Parrot's Tail  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,369,800 (USA) (17 April 1998)


$27,008,669 (USA) (14 August 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Animal stunt coordinator Boone Narr arranged seven separate bird casting calls, involving over 38 species. Blue-crown Conure parrots were deemed best, and 14 of them were used in the production, different birds with different personalities fitting into different scenes. For scenes that were too dangerous for the live parrots, or needed complex facial expressions in close-ups, an animatronic Paulie created at the Stan Winston Studio was used. See more »


When Marie and her mother are hugging each other after Marie says, "Cup" while struggling, you can see that Paulie pooped on the table. See more »


[first lines]
[Misha reports for work, it is dark and raining]
Virgil the Janitor: The agency told you you had to pay for your own uniforms, right ?
Misha: Yes, I to buy with money from job.
Virgil the Janitor: No, no, no. You can't start the job without a uniform.
Misha: But how to buy when not been paid ?
Virgil the Janitor: You don't have any money ?
Misha: No. This is why I take job. To make money. This is why I come to America. To be a big shoot.
Virgil the Janitor: Shot. Big shot.
Misha: I try not to live in past, only present tense since I come to America.
See more »


Referenced in Scary Movie 2 (2001) See more »


Estoy Loco
Written and Performed by Josh Cruze and the Bandidos de Amor
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User Reviews

the only kid-oriented movie with which I'm familiar that shows the plight of immigrants
10 May 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Some people might call "Paulie" a kids' movie, but I wish to assert that it's more than that. Probably more than anything else, this movie successfully goes to great lengths to show the plight of immigrants in the United States - topical given the recent debates. Portraying a parrot telling a Russian immigrant janitor (Tony Shalhoub) of how he searched America for his original owners, the movie tells several stories. There's the elderly woman (Gena Rowlands) whom he befriends, then a Mexican immigrant (Cheech Marin), and others.

All in all, it's a very well done movie. I usually don't expect much from these sorts of movies, but this one is a treat. I certainly recommend it. Also starring Jay Mohr, Buddy Hackett, Bruce Davison, Hallie Eisenberg and Trini Alvarado.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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