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The Dog, the General, and the Birds (2003)

Le chien, le général et les oiseaux (original title)
A long time ago, a young Russian general chose to sacrifice hundreds of birds to burn Moscow and save his motherland from the troops of Napoleon. For this feat, he was hailed as a hero by ... See full summary »


Francis Nielsen


Tonino Guerra (book), Tonino Guerra (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Michel Elias Michel Elias ... Le général (voice)
Tonino Guerra ... Il generale (voice)
Philippe Noiret ... Récitant / Narrator (voice)


A long time ago, a young Russian general chose to sacrifice hundreds of birds to burn Moscow and save his motherland from the troops of Napoleon. For this feat, he was hailed as a hero by the people of Russia but regarded an executioner by the winged creatures. Now fifty years older the aging general leads a drab life. To make matters worse, the descendants of the sacrificed birds keep attacking him. One day however a meets an engaging little dog who soon becomes his faithful companion. Both friends decide to break the curse plaguing the general's life : they start militating for all the caged birds of Russia to be set free. Written by Guy Bellinger

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User Reviews

20 June 2004 | by roliamjapSee all my reviews

Let's face it: French animation has proved better than that. With great stuff like Le Roi et l'Oiseau, or Les Maitres du Temps, and, more recently, Kirikou and Les Triplettes de Belleville, it has shown much creativity and was able to find its own style, clearly different from American and Japanimation. Clearly, Le Chien... is well below that and probably doesn't even have any ambition to match such masterpieces (or so I hope).

For the good points: the story shows much originality, locating the scene in Old Mother Russia, the hero being an old forgotten general who defeated Napoleon. Good start, but that's all you'll get, as the rest is soooo predictable. Other originality: for the animation technique, they used computers to animate hand-made drawings. Well, some may call it a "style", but the result is very, very poor, making you think they didn't have much time or practice to do it... which is confirmed by the overuse of zooming and traveling. Just like a poor TV program. And it is sooooo slow! Dialogues are pathetic, far from the poetry the original story and drawings deserved. Those could have been far better, and they're not even cute.

Well, let's praise here an effort to make an original movie for children under 7 or 8. Probably this is only for kids, too bad I couldn't find a real point to this tale, beyond a very naive and unskilled attempt to teach the value of freedom to our children. From an adult point of view, the whole life of the old man is just very sad and depressing. This production is like one big step behind -or, at least, aside- in the history of European animation, especially disappointing because director Francis Nielsen is close to a genius (Il etait une fois l'homme, etc).

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France | Italy



Release Date:

22 October 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Il cane e il suo generale See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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