The Old Lady and the Pigeons

The Old Lady and the Pigeons

The Old Lady and the Pigeons is a 1997 animated short film written and directed by Sylvain Chomet. It tells the slightly surreal story of a starving policeman who dresses up as a pigeon and tricks an old lady into feeding him. The film was produced through the French company Les Armateurs with support from companies in Canada, Belgium and the United Kingdom. It was Chomet's debut film and won several awards including the Grand Prix at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.


A Parisian police officer who lives in squalor observes an old lady overfeeding pigeons in a garden square. The sight haunts his thoughts as the old lady gives the pigeons delicate and refined dishes while he himself is starving. After having a nightmare in which giant anthropomorphic pigeons disembowel him, the officer tracks the old lady to her apartment, constructs a giant pigeon costume, and invites himself into the old lady's home. Despite the officer's rudeness, the old lady sees no inconvenience and feeds him copiously upon each visit, causing him to gradually gain weight. Each day, the officer passes by a concierge, and one of the old lady's portraits shows her younger self surrounded by overweight cats.