A Look Into the World of Pixar’s Piper

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There has been lots of excitement and buzz leading up to the June 17th release of “Finding Dory”, but in addition to re-visiting the her big blue world, we get to meet a new adorable coastline creature: Piper, the piper bird. “Piper” is Pixar‘s latest short film that audiences will get to see in theaters before “Finding Dory.”

Piper birds are a coastline bird who stay near the beach and dig in the sand with their long beaks in order to find food. This short centers around a young bird, named Piper, who has to learn to do this natural task, but there’s one big problem: he’s afraid of water.


With Pixar Studios located near the Northern California coast, first-time director, but long-time Pixar animator Alan Barillaro would go and watch these birds at the beach, and thought it was very intriguing how they seemed to need to eat from the sand, but would always rush away from the water every time some waves came to shore. He used their movements and personalities to do animation testing. Pixar’s John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton felt Barillaro was finding a valuable story with these birds, and encouraged him to keep working with this; thus “Piper” came to be.

The story, although short, sends a powerful message.  Barillaro told USA Today,

 “This is a tale of how to grow up in a world that seems so large and intimidating with the courage to get past those fears.” He continued, “There’s also the parent aspect, personal to me. Letting your kids grow up, make mistakes and not hovering over them. The mother piper is the parent I wish I was — being there for your kids, but giving them space to grow.”

The 6-minute short film is accompanied by guitarist Adrian Belew, who not only performs the score but also uses guitar to do the bird’s sound effects.

As with all Pixar shorts, the films are utilized to help test out the latest and greatest animation, and just from the still shots of the film alone it is evident that the animation is stunning! You can check out Piper’s whole story in theaters beginning June 17.

Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar, USA Today

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