PIPER – Pixar’s Animated Short Before Finding Dory

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Who else is SO excited for FINDING DORY to hit theaters in just a few more days? We can’t wait! From what I’ve seen so far, I think it’s going to be great! But, I can assure you that the Pixar Animated Short, PIPER, that plays before the movie is fabulous! Both the animation and characters are SO well-done that you’ll find yourself falling in love with a little sand piper! Piper Animated ShortDirected by Alan Barillaro and produced by Marc Sondheimer, PIPER is about a hungry sandpiper hatchling who ventures from her nest for the first time to dig for food by the shoreline. The only problem is, the food is buried beneath the sand where scary waves roll up onto the shore.”  The way the whole thing plays out is pure Pixar magic! It’s amazing the story-telling that can be told in just a few minutes!
Here’s a little clip:

Isn’t she adorable?! And the animation truly is so incredible in this!!!! It’s stunningly beautiful! And, that’s due to the work of Director Alan Barillaro, who joined Pixar Animation Studios in 1997 and has worked as an animator on almost every Pixar film sense. Following his work on “Brave,” Barillaro went to work with Pixar’s software development team to help create an animation tool that would help provide additional creative flexibility to the studio’s filmmaking process. As a proof of concept, Barillaro created a short animation test about a small bird – a sandpiper – on a beach. This animation test soon grew into the full-fledged short film, PIPER, that will debut with FINDING DORY. PIPER Pixar ShortDuring our #FindingDoryEvent at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we had the pleasure of talking with Barillaro about the new software and the short-film itself. And true to Disney-Pixar form, the research and details that go into making these films (whether shorts or full-length) are incredible. His team did hours of research at the beach (rough job, hahah), looking at sand pipers, water movement, and figuring out what the beach/ocean viewpoint is from something only a few inches tall. Water actually is viewed as another character in the short, so it was very important to get that right – even down to all the little bubbles. Many of these were hand-animated and then layered with computer effects to get it just right. The same is true for the blades of grass that help set the mood of the scene and Piper’s feathers (of which they had to create with MILLIONS of individual hairs) to help animate her character! It’s all these details that really brings the characters and the whole story to life! Piper Finding Dory shortIt really is such a sweet little story! And, Piper is adorable! I want a little plush version of her – she’s just so fluffy & cute! Between the beach scenes and the storyline, it is a perfect short to have before FINDING DORY!

Finding Dory Movie Poster

PIPER & FINDING DORY swim into theaters THIS FRIDAY, June 17th, 2016! Perfect for summer fun!

For more Finding Dory fun, you can follow along on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Visit the official site at www.disney.com/findingdory

And, if you want some great information to share with the kids about ocean animals like those seen in PIPER & FINDING DORY, be sure to download the free educational printables here!

Finding Dory Ocean Animals Fact Book

Disclosure: Disney hosted me in Monterey in order to attend screenings and to participate in group interviews & media events. As always, all opinions, experiences and  love of Disney & the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Photos in this post are all property of Disney-Pixar used with permission.


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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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