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Paulie ★★½ 1998 (PG)

Dreamworks follows up “Mouse Hunt” with this tale of a conversant parrot (voiced by Mohr) whose mouth keeps getting him in trouble. Trapped in a dingy basement, Paulie tells a lonely Russian janitor (Shalhoub) the story of his cross-country quest to return to his original owner, the little girl (Eisenberg) who raised him from a fledgling. After the girl's parents send him away, Paulie goes through a procession of owners: a smart-aleck pawn shop owner (Hackett); a kindly old woman (Rowlands) who drives him to L.A in her RV; a petty criminal (Mohr again); a taco stand owner (Marin) who manages a parrot dancing act; and a scientist (Davison) looking to cash in on the bird's talent. Not a whole lot of action for a kiddie movie, and some of the jokes may go over their heads, but fine performances all around and a charming story keep pic aloft. 91m/C VHS, DVD . Jay Mohr, Gena Rowlands, Tony Shalhoub, Richard “Cheech” Marin, Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Bruce Davison, Trini Alvarado, Buddy Hackett, Matt Craven, Bill Cobbs, Laura Harrington, Tia Texada; D: John Roberts; W: Laurie Craig; C: Tony Pierce-Roberts; M: John Debney; V: Jay Mohr.