Back in April, we got our first look at the new Pixar animated short Piper, which will be attached to theatrical prints of the studio's animated sequel Finding Dory when it hits theaters this weekend. With just a few more days left until this short is unveiled, the first clip has surfaced, featuring the title character in action. This brief scene shows how tough it is for a young sandpiper to find food along a crowded beach.
The story centers on a baby sandpiper who is trying to both find food, and overcome hydrophobia, the fear of water. Longtime Pixar animator Alan Barillaro makes his directorial debut with this short film, which was inspired by the numerous birds he used to observe while running along the shoreline, just a mile from Pixar's Emeryville, California headquarters. While this short marks Alan Barillaro's directorial debut, he has worked as a Pixar animator for nearly two decades.
Alan Barillaro first joined Pixar to work on 1998's A Bug's Life. He also worked on Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Brave and Monsters University, along with the shorts Jack-Jack Attack, Igor and Lifted. The first-time director revealed in April that he originally started toying with the character as a test, but he was encouraged to keep working on the project by his mentor, Finding Dory director Andrew Stanton. Here's what Alan Barillaro had to say about working with his mentor back in April.
"You always want to show directors, 'Hey, are these cool tools you'd like to use to make films?' So I showed Andrew the Piper tests thinking I was very much just showing him a test, but he kept poking at me, like, 'It's a cool test, but keep working on that story.' And then John [Lasseter] did the same. There's remarkable encouragement at Pixar that when you think of an innovative idea, don't forget the story. It was their encouragement or else I would have stopped at the test phase."
Since the short film is just six minutes long, and it hits theaters in just a few short days, it seems unlikely we'll get any more footage from Piper. The short film will most likely be included on the Finding Dory home video release later next year. While we wait for both Finding Dory and Piper to hit theaters in just a few short days, take a look at this clip below courtesy of Youtube.