Pixar has announced the short animated film that will run before "Finding Dory" when the anticipated sequel hits theaters June 17. "Piper," a six-minute short from first-time director Alan Barillaro, tells the story of a young sandpiper overcoming her fear of the water after her mother sends her looking for clams on the beach.
“I love playing with something people are familiar with, like a beach, and giving a new perspective, how that might feel as a bird that’s only four inches off the ground," Barillaro told USA Today. “There’s also the parent aspect, personal to me,” he added. “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.”
Barillaro said the inspiration for the tiny bird's story came from watching birds hunt for food at the beach, where he observed that they "always looked like they were tearing around in fear, like they were scared of the water."
Pixar's shorts are often simple but moving stories, and have won or been nominated for multiple awards, with the most recent, "Sanjay's Super Team," garnering an Academy Award Nomination for Best Short Film - Animated.
"Piper" will run before "Finding Dory" throughout its theatrical release, which begins June 17.