If you’re planning to go see “Finding Dory” this weekend, Pixar has a bonus treat in store for you.
In keeping with the tradition they have built since their inception, the studio is opening their “Finding Nemo” sequel with a short film that allows animators to jump in the director’s chair and try some more experimental fare. This summer’s offering is “Piper,” a six-minute short from veteran animator Alan Barillaro that features the a gorgeous setting and the most adorable protagonist in any Pixar short — possibly ever.
As you can see in the clip above, “Piper” features a baby sandpiper who heads out with his mother to forage for clams that wash up on the seashore. Unfortunately, the poor bird learns too late why the adults regularly run away from the water as they feed, and gets smashed by an oncoming wave. He must then learn to overcome his fear of the water, with some unexpected help from some fellow beach denizens.
It has been 30 years since Pixar first burst into the animation world with “Luxo Jr.,” and “Piper” is a breathtaking example of how far computers have come in the intervening decades and what Pixar has been able to do with that technology.
Piper’s feathers are rendered with a level of detail never seen before seen in animation, and the beach looks shockingly realistic with its water effects and wet sand. In one underwater scene, you can see every grain of sand as it floats beneath the waves. Plus, as the clip demonstrates, it won’t take long for Piper to win everyone over with his fluffy charm.
“Finding Dory” and “Piper” hit theaters everywhere this Friday.
Piper is the latest in a long line of endearing Pixar characters. Check out our picks for the greatest ever below.
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