Piper, the award-winning Pixar short film, is accredited with earning millions of hearts as well. The six-minute film featuring a tiny sandpiper bird fighting against all odds and learn how to feed himself.

Alan Barillaro, who had been a part of the animation team for “Monsters.Inc”, “Brave” and “The Incredibles”, gave his first short at direction with Piper. It took him three years to complete the masterpiece.


After the film received the Oscar this Sunday, he admitted that it was not an easy task as he expected it to be. “At the beginning, you really don’t know how you will pull it off”, he said. It took a year to come up with piper, the main character of the film. Subsequently, a year and a half for the animation part. Close to 7 million feathers were created for the pipers and a billion pebbles that made up the beach. A team of 40 animators created the film by their hands declining the help of simulation software.

According to Barillaro, the most vital and backbreaking part of the film was to create a conversation between piper and the mother that didn’t look too human. As an audience, it was not too difficult to understand the little conversations between them. What is to be appreciated is the effort behind making it possible. A simple head shake or a nod was enough to emote beyond human touch.


One day, Piper is forced to face his worst fears as his mother refuses to feed him. Going against the tides, he learns how to deal with the fright of water and earn his own meals.


The inspiration for piper was found on a calm beach stretch near Pixar studios, California when Barillaro was out for a walk. Tiny sandpiper birds that ran back and forth from the tide gave him his story.