Many congratulations to the crew behind Pixar’s Piper, for taking home the award for Best Animated Short Film at last night’s Academy Awards ceremony. Piper is certainly an achievement in merging animation and technology with its minimalist approach to telling the story of a sandpiper hatchling trying to catch food on its own. Director Alan Barillaro and producer Marc Sondheimer were all smiles in the press room after humbly accepting the Oscar on stage. Backstage Barillaro mentioned, “When you talk technology, the art form is the pencil … we ignored the world of realism and went for the artistic choices. A lot of the work was looking at classical paintings… The challenge as an animator is you need to understand something before you can animate it.” Sondheimer then added, “We studied those birds and that really helped… For three long years!”
It’s safe to say that doing copious amounts of research certainly made a difference in the long-run.