Piper is the story of a baby sandpiper who is afraid of the water. The short film was produced by Pixar Animation Studios, written and directed by Alan Barillaro. It was theatrically released alongside Pixar’s Finding Dory on June 17, 2016. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 89th Academy Awards, becoming the first Pixar animated short to win the award since For the Birds in 2002.
The film apparently began life as an animation experiment, trying to re-jig a bird from Brave into a baby sandpiper, and then everything else grew from there. The animation is gorgeous and groundbreaking. The visuals are almost photo-realistic and so the careful details of the feathers, combined with the audio, it is absolutely beautiful.