“PIPER” (THE SANDERLING?) – THE ULTIMATE CHICK FLICK?
Yes, yes, I realise that Pixar / Disney’s latest
candidate shoo-in for the Oscar in the ‘Totes Adorbz Animatid Tweetie Pie’ category isn’t actually real. [Oh! Did I really need to put a *spoiler alert* before that first sentence, I wonder? If so, sorreeeeeeee!] Piper, the awesomely cute chick star of the already famous ‘short’, is clearly a shorebird of some sort. She’s obviously not a piping plover named ‘Piper’ – indeed, judging by the appearance of her mom, she is obviously based on one of the small sandpiper species. In fact, she most resembles a SANDERLING (Calidris Alba) who is, not unreasonably, called ‘Piper’.
According to an article in THE VERGE, the film-makers spent a great deal of time with shorebirds, especially sanderlings, studying all their little ways for verisimilitude in the film. Not just in appearance, of course, but in movement and behaviour (see viddy below).
A real (as opposed to CGI / cartoon) sanderling strutting its stuff on the Delphi beach
“KEEP CLAM AND OPEN IT”
PIPER the film is described thus: “This wordless short follows a young bird who’s forced by her mother to start collecting her own clams. Her first attempt is a disaster. A crashing wave leaves the little bird soaked and terrified… She isn’t too eager to return to the shoreline, but, with the help of a tiny hermit crab, Piper musters the courage to try again and even starts to enjoy the hunt”.
Sanderlings love water. They run along the tideline. They run towards the retreating tide to forage in the soft sand. They run away from the next wave as it rolls in. They run everywhere. Sometimes they bathe in rock pools or TIDE POOLS. Here’s a short video I took on the Delphi beach that demonstrates the crazy realtime scuttling that goes on.
And this is the very excellent BIRD & MOON take on Sanderling:
SOME CUTE CLIPS from “PIPER”
There’s no one in the world who’s going to have a word to say against this charming film, so not even having seen it I am going to cut to the chase with an immediate review:
ROLLING HARBOUR MOVIE RATING wickle tiny fluffballs
THE OFFICIAL PREVIEW
Please note: as yet I have not faced the question of forthcoming animated animal films, but no doubt I’ll get round to a post, provisionally entitled “Close Encounters of the Furred Kind”.
Credits: Pixar / Disney, The Verge, Birdorable, Bird & Moon, open source material and self for the real bird on the beach + video clip. Also, Conserve Wildlife Foundation NJ and Wader Quest who posted similar jocular ornithological comparisons.