Sylvain Chomet‘s beautiful, distinct animated films take time to make. It was seven years between his feature film debut “The Triplets Of Belleville” and “The Illusionist,” and while he did most recently knock out the live action “Attila Marcel,” he’s got another animated feature cooking with “Ten Thousand Miles.” But right from the start, Chomet’s talent and style made itself known with the short “The Old Lady And The Pigeons.”
Kicking off Chomet’s career, this 22-minute 1997 short tells the quirky story of a skinny, starving French policeman who dresses up as a pigeon and forces an old lady to feed him. And things get weirder from there as he keeps returning to the old woman’s house and ballooning in size. And yet, even in this surreal tale, Chomet’s unique visuals are impressive. So much so, that the short won a nice handful of awards around the world, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short. Check it out in full below and don’t worry — it’s mostly dialogue-free, and what small bits of dialogue are there are in English.