Arguably as beloved as many of their films, Pixar's shorts are always full of heart and absolutely stunning animation. Fortunately for fans, it looks like their newest one, entitled Piper, is going to be no exception to the rule, judging by the first look of the eponymous character that Entertainment Weekly have unveiled.

With a six-minute running-time, Piper will tell the story of a baby sandpiper who has to overcome a fear of the water, with the help of her mother, in order to eat. Talking about how he came up with the short's premise, animator-turned-director Alan Barillaro revealed that he noticed the behaviour of certain birds trying to find food on the beach whilst running along the shores in California. "It's always fun to show a world we're familiar with but from a different perspective," he told EW. "We've all been to the beach, but have we ever viewed water from just an inch off the sand? That could be very fearful from a bird's perspective."

"I showed Andrew [Stanton] the Piper tests thinking I was very much just showing him a test, but he kept poking at me, like, 'It's a cool test, but keep working on that story,'" Barillaro said, as he recollected how the short came to be. "And then John Lasseter did the same. There's remarkable encouragement at Pixar that when you think of an innovative idea, don't forget the story. It was their encouragement or else I would have stopped at the test phase."

"It's the kid at the playground feeling," he continued. "You fall down and you feel so small, but you look and see someone even smaller than you brush themselves off and tackle something, and learn from that in your own way. It was important to me to stay in the kid world and see the world from Piper's eyes, and not be from the human perspective."

Piper will be shown in cinemas before Pixar's eagerly-anticipated sequel Finding Dory, following on from the 2013 film Finding Nemo. The film is scheduled to swim into US cinemas on 17 June, reaching UK screens on 29 July.

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