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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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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

Plot Keywords:

girl | russian | janitor | parrot | thief | See All (65) »


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?


Buddy Hackett auditioned to do the voice of Paulie, but lost to Jay Mohr who did an impression of Buddy Hackett. Buddy Hackett does appear in the film in a small role as Artie, the Pawn Broker, and during his scene Jay Mohr also appears in person as Benny. See more »


Paulie sees the woman enter the PIN code 5070 into the ATM, but he uses a different code to withdraw money with her stolen card. 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 Monk: Mr. Monk and the Lady Next Door (2009) See more »


Written by Randy Newman
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User Reviews

Surprisingly sweet and clever animal adventure film PG rated
8 June 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I have seen this film numerous times and for the life of me, I cannot understand why some people compare this to BABE. This film is not about the secret life of ALL animals who secretly can talk. Instead, it is about a Parrot who learns to talk to help his owner, a little girl with a serious stammer, overcome her speech impediment only to be separated from her in a heart-wrenching scene early on. Then the great journey begins. Paulie the Parrot sets out to try and find his one great friend, Marie.

Along the way, he meets several wonderful people and numerous nasty people. He falls in love with a girl parrot and loses her. He gets conned into a life of crime and then captured by a bad scientist who wants to exploit him.

He recounts his tale to a sympathetic Janitor in the Lab who agrees to help him escape and find his beloved Marie.

Tony Shaloub shines as the kindly Janitor who has an open mind and big heart and who determines to help little Paulie despite the risks. Jay Mohr plays the voice of the Parrot AND one of the seedy characters he comes across.

There is a little suggestive language but this film is appropriate for most kids and even more so if the parents join in on the fun and watch too. It is a witty, clever, epic animal-adventure story and ultimately a great love story about a Bird and his little girl. He search for Marie ends with a quite an unexpected surprise for most people who don;t know much about Parrots.

Kids who have seen the wild Green Parrot Tribes in Los Angeles and Pasadena will especially benefit from seeing this film and understanding that Birds, especially Parrots are not disposable pets. All children everywhere, will see that Pets form deep attachments themselves and that the love and loyalty of a dog or parrot is a gift to be treasured.

so no BABE here, more of an incredible journey with a twist.

Enjoy and try no to tear up during the sad parts.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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