Nicolas Alan Barillaro is a Canadian director, animator and writer at Pixar. Best known for his work on animated short-film Piper, that earned him wide spread acclaim and Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film which he shared with producer Marc Sondheimer, Barillaro also attended Sheridan College in Oakville, He along with fellow animators Tony Fucile and Steven Clay Hunter are known as "The Three Caballeros".
Alan Barillaro used new, cutting edge technology to create the six-minute short over three years. In order to give the sanderlings and other birds visible in the background a realistic look, Barillaro and the Piper animation team visited beaches in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the Monterey Bay Aquarium to study their appearance and behaviour. The sanderlings' feathers in particular were rendered in minute detail.