PIXAR’s Animated Short, Piper, is a Huge Squeal of Delight!

PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
PIPER – Concept Art by Jason Deamer (Production Designer). ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

PIXAR’s original animated shorts is quite often more amazing than their feature-length films. While there are a few exceptions, namely with Toy Story, Wall*E and Up as my top three favourites, in what I’m watching attached to their movies is nothing short of marvellous. In my list of best films in this category has to be (in order): Piper, Blue Umbrella and Lifted. I admit to a slight bias towards the last item on this list, since I adore UFO stories that are not horror scenarios.

Piper is this studio’s latest entry and it’s nothing short of amazing. I do not think I can even watch this short on Blu-ray (1080p) resolution. It is very deserving of a 4K (2160p) treatment! I was amazed at witnessing every grain of sand rendered and the detail along every feather of the hero. Piper is most likely the name of the baby bird, a Sandpiper, learning how to hunt for food. Unfortunately, in his first attempt, he nearly got washed away by an ocean wave! His reaction was priceless and his ruffled look had the audience in stitches! This piece was screened along with Finding Dory, so the themes were very similar!

This bird’s personality can be felt. No dialogue was even offered in a look at the instinctual habits of these birds. They rush in and out of the wet sand to get at clams before the waves come crashing in, changing where these delicious morsels of food are hiding. The vantage point is quite often from this little chick, and when he manages to overcome his fear, the elation is infectious. I was cheering for him like I did for Wall*E when he found love.

Veteran Pixar animator and Piper director Alan Barillaro helmed this project. According to Vanity Fair, he spent three years developing this short, using cutting edge technology to create the magic. If there’s ever to be a popularity contest over who are the cutest birds in all of CGI-dom, Piper would win twenty-times over! Mumble (in his youngest form) from Happy Feet and Private from Penguins of Madagascar just does not compare anymore.

5 Stars out of 5



Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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