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Paulie (1998)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  17 April 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 11,103 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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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 journey of a thousand miles begins with a single parrot. 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 »


When driving to Los Angeles with Ivy, Paulie says that the largest desert is at the north pole when in fact the largest desert is Antarctica which is at the south pole. 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 »


Spoofed 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

A short summary of the film, as well as detailed comments.
5 April 2003 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

Somehow, this movie manages to be invigorating, bittersweet, and heartwarming at the same time. Stars like Tony Shalhoub (from Providence) bring the tale to life. The story itself is inspiring. We see a desperate, up-and-down life through the most innocent eyes imaginable: a bird's.

Paulie begins his life as a baby parrot given to a little girl (played by Hallie Eisenberg, also known as the Pepsi girl) with a speech impediment. While she learns to speak correctly, so does Paulie. However, unlike most birds, he can speak and understand everything being said. The military father doesn't like the bird, so he is sent to a pawn shop and bought by an aging artist, Ivy. She teaches him manners, etc., while traveling across the country to find Paulie's owner. The movie continues with several twists of fate, until Paulie ends up at a laboratory where he is eventually hidden away in a basement, and found by a Russian custodian, who is touched by the bird's story. the plot is in keeping with the simple, metaphorical theme that language is a gift, and a curse. I would like to say that the soundtrack is astounding. A beautiful mixture of flute, digital base, and horns enhance the movie to the point of pure ecstasy. The sweeping camera angles and breathtaking scenery beautify the story even more. And, as a final remark, the puppetry is entirely believable. (Unlike in star wars, where Yoda resembles a Muppet) This film is one of my favorite movies, with the added remark that my wonderful parakeet of four years died recently. Overall, I give this movie **** out of four stars, two thumbs up, and a big hug.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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