Pixar Will Introduce This New Character Before Finding Dory

If you’re a big fan of the animated features that come from Pixar, there’s a good chance you’re also a big fan of their smaller productions. Most of Pixar’s feature films come with animated short films as well. Now, we have our first look at Pixar’s newest character, who we’ll be meeting this June prior to Finding Dory. Meet Piper.

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In a fitting attachment to a film that takes place in the ocean, Piper will take place on the shore, as it follows a baby sandpiper, who is afraid of the approaching water, but needs to deal with it in order to find its food. Needless to say, Pixar has outdone itself once again when it comes to the cute factor here. From what we see in this image from Entertainment Weekly, Piper is just about the most adorable thing we’ve ever seen. We can already imagine the little bird apprehensively landing on the beach before flying off in terror as the water approaches again.

Piper director Alan Barillaro has been an animator at Pixar since 1998’s A Bug’s Life, though this is his first time as a director. The idea came to him as he was jogging along the beach each morning less than a mile from Pixar’s Emeryville, CA studio. He would watch the sandpiper’s fly off as the waves approach and then land again as they receded and thought it would make for an interesting character. He originally designed Piper as an animation test, but Finding Dory director Andrew Stanton and Disney Animation chief John Lasseter both encouraged him to keep working, and to find a good story in the idea. The result is the finished short.

Only Pixar’s first feature film, the original Toy Story was released in theaters without a short preceding it. Most recently Pixar was nominated for an Academy Award for Sanjay’s Super Team which was released last fall along with The Good Dinosaur. Pixar has won three Oscars for their short films since 1989, but none since 2001’s For the Birds.

We’re looking forward to meeting Piper for the first time as much as we’re looking forward to seeing old friends again in Finding Dory. The pair will hit screens together on June 17.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.