“‘Kitbull’ reveals an unlikely connection that sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull,” reads the short’s description. “Together, they experience friendship for the first time.” The duo not only become fast friends, but they overcome obstacles, like the pit bull’s abusive owner, together.
Directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, “Kitbull” looks a little different than the Pixar films we’re used to: instead of 3D animation, it’s hand-drawn for a 2D look. Sullivan explained in a behind-the-scenes clip that she “loves the charm” of drawing by hand and how “no two drawings will be alike.”
While Sullivan was inspired by “a rabbit hole” of cat videos, she revealed that “Kitbull” is also based on personal experience.
“Growing up, I was always very sensitive and very shy, so I had a lot of trouble… making friendships,” she said in a meet-the-filmmakers video. “So I related to this kitten, because it never really stepped outside of its comfort zone to be vulnerable and make a connection.”
It’s the latest short to come out of Pixar’s new SparkShorts program, which releases films by the studio’s up-and-coming animation artists. The first clip, titled “Purl,” featured a female ball of yarn trying to navigate office sexism in a sea of suits. Future shorts will be published on Disney’s new streaming service, Disney Plus, once it’s released.