Piper is a 2016 Pixar short film that was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.
It follows a baby sandpiper learning to overcome her fear of water by digging into the sand. The plot is very simple, but it is cute and endearing. The baby follows the hermit crab and by copying its behavior, the bird discovers the beauty of the underwater world while learning a new way to find food, thus inspiring others. It was a clever way to explain these birds’ behavior.
The animation is absolutely fantastic, so impressive. The character design in particular is superb. It was evident that this was a major, time-inducing project as the feathers and the overall birds look as realistic as they can be. The backgrounds are also nice and polished. The score is pretty solid too. But somehow it ended abruptly and it is just never particularly inspired or original in terms of storytelling and characterization. It is just a pretty solid Pixar short, but nothing more than that.
Piper isn’t ambitious or particularly original, but it is cute and charming with absolutely fantastic animation.