Genre: Fairy Tale and Short Running Time: 6 min.
Release Date: June 17th, 2016 MPAA Rating: G
Director: Alan Barillaro Actors: N/A
ptly preceding the theatrical presentation of “Finding Dory,” “Piper” is a quick, fleeting short about a baby seabird who is forced by his mother to forage for food on the beaches. Despite the sand being awash with succulent mollusks, the crashing waves become extreme obstacles for the tiny chick. Employing the same themes seen in “Finding Nemo,” the youngling must conquer his fears, discover a way to use his talents, and even gain a friend in the process.
The film doesn’t possess the emotional impact that many of Pixar’s shorts carry, though it does have decent humor and great character designs. What it does have is a visual presentation so staggeringly realistic, it just might trump anything seen in “Finding Dory.” The environments, the water effects, and the feathery shorebirds themselves exhibit state-of-the-art graphics that are regularly indistinguishable from real life. But, even with its artistry and its family-friendly concepts, it’s predominantly an experimentation in cuteness, not substance. The main character is one of the daintiest, most winsome little creatures ever to grace a Pixar short, complete with oversized eyes, chubby cheeks, and a plump figure. His actions and emotions are uncompromisingly, unapologetically, almost sickeningly cute.
– Mike Massie