Since 1997, Pixar has produced animated short films that are intended to be played in theaters before its theatrical features. The studio has produced other short subjects for home video, but it's the theatrical shorts that get the most attention.
Last year was no exception, as the singing-volcano short, Lava, which played before Inside Out, tended to divide audiences, while the Academy Award-nominated Sanjay's Super Team probably received better reviews than The Good Dinosaur, the feature it preceded.
Pixar's next animated feature, Finding Dory, will swim our way soon, so what can we expect from the short movie that will accompany it? Our first look at Piper (above) comes via Entertainment Weekly. The short, which will run six minutes, follows "a hungry baby sandpiper learning to overcome hydrophobia."
Director Alan Barillo told EW that he would run along the shore of the Pacific Ocean, about a mile from where Pixar is located, and see birds running from the waves but darting back to feed. That gave him an idea about birds being afraid of water. The animator, whose credits include Finding Nemo, A Bug's Life and WALL-E, was encouraged by his Pixar mentors to flesh out his idea into a story and eventually the short subject resulted.
Finding Dory, accompanied by Piper, will open in theaters nationwide on June 17.
Back in January, we heard that Gullermo del Toro's animated series Trollhunters would be heading to Netflix, though information was scant. The only hint given was that the filmmaker would "unleash a new, fantastical world wrapped around two best friends who make a startling discovery beneath their hometown."
Now the first official image has been released (see above), and it looks wonderfully intriguing.
Per EW, here's more about the series: "DreamWorks Trollhunters will unleash a new, fantastical world wrapped around the residents of the fictional suburb of Arcadia, who make a startling discovery that the world beneath their hometown is as vast and mind-blowing as anything on the surface. DreamWorks' Trollhunters aims to bring viewers of all ages around the world into the rich and creative mind of Guillermo del Toro."
The first footage from the show will debut at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 15 and the series is expected to premiere on Netflix before the end of the year.