Bondmates Sean Connery and Shirley Bassey Reunite for Scottish Delgo


Decades after Dame Shirley Bassey provided the legendary theme songs to Sir Sean Connery's 007 hits Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever, the Welsh chanteuse will once again contribute a tune to a Connery effort. You might forgive them, however, if this one is of a slightly less distinguished pedigree.

New reports have Bassey agreeing to contribute the theme song to Sir Billi, a five-years-in-the-making, CGI-animated indie about (and I quote) "a retired, skateboarding veterinarian who lives in a remote Scottish village and who spearheads the rescue of an illegal fugitive who also happens to be a beaver." Wow. Between Mel Gibson's own beaver opus and the fugitive troubles of Roman Polanski, it's clearly as timely and essential a project as any currently in the works. Most of Scotland's available voice talent seems to agree, with Alan Cumming, Miriam Margolyes, Ruby Wax, Ford Kiernan, Greg Hemphill, Barbara Rafferty, Alex Norton, Larry Sullivan and John Amabile all lending their throats to the cause.

None of this was among the motivations cited by Bassey, however. "There was no persuading needed here, I liked the song from the moment I heard it," Bassey said in an interview. She added that the song, "Guardian of the Highlands," was written with her in mind; the filmmakers "made the process incredibly fun and easy for me, and we got a great result."

I'm trying to stay optimistic about all this, but of course we've seen where these kinds of tortuous animation-production paths can lead. While the great schmabor-of-love Delgo was certainly its own thing, Sir Sean may very well amount to Sir Billi's own Lou Gossett Jr., Cumming may be its Val Kilmer, and Dame Shirley may be its Anne Bancroft (alive, of course). Or they may all simply be making iffy magic that will, like Delgo, quietly influence the next Avatar. In which case we'll need to take a minute and figure out where Bassey fits on the sliding scale of soundtrack power-balladeers. Susan Boyle's got nothing on her, that much is clear.

· Shirley Bassey, Sean Connery reunite [THR]