‘It’s not a Pixar film unless you cry in the end’ is what most people say – and we have to agree. Tearjerkers with a powerful message have always been the animation studio’s trademark since time immemorial. But even if we bawl our eyes out every time we watch their brilliant and heartwrenching creations, it doesn’t mean that we don’t love them – in fact, it is the total opposite!
We are left wanting to see more of their works every time we finish a Pixar-made movie. Well, the studio is at it again as they recently released another heart-tugging film, a short called “Kitbull”.
You may have figured it out from the title – “Kitbull” is about the unlikely friendship formed between a kitten and a pitbull. The animated 2-D short, directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson for Pixar SparkShorts, is less than nine minutes long but is packed with emotional scenes that will inevitably make you reach for that box of Kleenex.
This film was created via hand-drawing – a first for Pixar short films where creators have always used digital processes during production. But the result is far from underwhelming – in fact, the old-fashioned feel of the film evokes nostalgia and appears life-like, compelling anyone to watch it until the end.
The first few minutes of “Kitbull” introduces the audience to a wide-eyed black kitten who lives in San Francisco’s Mission District. A discarded cardboard box serves as her home and she spends her nights sleeping beside a purple elephant stuffed toy. She lives a solitary but safe life void of any human contact.
Then one day, everything changes when a man brings a pitbull into the backyard where her home is. Even though the pitbull seemed harmless and just wanting of a friend, the kitten was frightened of him, hissing and baring her claws whenever he comes near. The dog even tries to initiate play with the kitten by knocking around an orange bottle cap, but the cautious cat just won’t let her walls down.
But one night completely changed the cat’s perception of the pitbull. The dog returned in the junkyard in the middle of a thunderstorm, his body weak and full of wounds. As it turns out, the dog was a victim of dog-fighting. The kitten saw the pitbull at his most vulnerable state – that is when she overcame her fear and understood that the dog meant her no harm. After that night, their friendship finally blossomed.
According to Sullivan, the inspiration for “Kitbull” came after she watched a ton of cat videos.
“I loved watching cat videos in times of stress,” she says.
After binge-watching, she began drawing cats as a creative outlet and a way to make herself feel good. But eventually, it turned into something more.
“At first I just wanted to draw something that made me feel good and was fun, but it evolved into something more personal to me eventually,” explains Sullivan during the Pixar “Meet the Filmmakers” video seen below.
“I realized that growing up I was always very sensitive and very shy, and had actually a lot of trouble kind of making connections, making friendship…and so I related to this kitten, because it never really stepped out of his comfort zone to be vulnerable and make a connection, and so that’s eventually what the story became.”, she added.
You could cry tears of sadness or joy for this film. Either way, get your tissues ready and watch the touching short film “Kitbull” below.
To take action against the cruel practice of dog-fighting, visit The Humane Society to know how you can help.
All photos were taken from Pixar SparkShorts.