Meet Piper, Pixar’s Newest (and Cutest) Animated Character

1 minute read

When moviegoers head to see Pixar’s Finding Dory this weekend, they’ll get an extra treat: an animated short, Piper, will run before the movie.

A recently released teaser gives us a peek into the six-minute short, in which a tiny, adorable sandpiper ventures out of her nest for the first time. It turns out keeping up with the bigger birds and finding food on the beach can be a challenge.

In just 25 seconds, the preview manages to show off the extent of Pixar’s animation prowess: from the definition in the birds’ feathers to hyper-real bubbles in the sand, the little film is photorealistic perfection.

Director Alan Barillaro told USA Today that it’s a story about overcoming fear. “This is a tale of how to grow up in a world that seems so large and intimidating with the courage to get past those fears.”

With a character this cute, it’s hard not to root for Piper.

More Must-Reads from TIME

Write to Raisa Bruner at