In addition to its full-length movies over the years, Pixar has created some powerful short films to tug on the heartstrings of viewers and make them think outside of the box. The animation company’s latest short film is no exception. It not only will make you tear up a bit, but it also gives some powerful lessons about love and animals.
A Beautiful Bond
Kitbull, directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, is an emotional story about an unlikely friendship formed under heartbreaking circumstances. It starts with a stray kitten that is content in living alone a back alley. He soon comes face to face with a pit bull, who tries to play nice with the kitten. However, the kitten, used to having to defend himself on the streets, is really skittish and defensive and refuses to let the pitbull close.
Over time, the kitten begins to see that the pit bull is pretty much on his own. He has an abusive owner, who leaves the dog outside with not much interaction and uses him for dogfighting, presumably. After the dog is hurt during a fight, he still takes time to rescue the kitten after it gets stuck. The kitten later snuggles up to the dog and returns the favor in a big way.
One of the big lessons learned in this short film is the stereotypes against pit bulls. They’re often seen as aggressive and scary animals that will maim and kill if they get the chance. There have been several instances in the news of pit bulls harming humans which pushes that narrative.
However, Kitbull shows that that’s not always the case. In fact, if anything, it shows that that type of mean behavior in pits (or any animal really) is taught. A loving and gentle hand can encourage an animal to be loving and gentle back.
Beyond The Comfort Zone
Another lesson the film shows is the importance of breaking out of your comfort zone. The kitten was finally able to do that after finding common ground and becoming comfortable with the pit bull. For the director, Rosana, this story was a tale of her breaking out of her own comfort zone too. “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,” she admitted. “I realized that growing up I was always very sensitive and very shy. And had actually a lot of trouble making connections, making friendships. So I related to this kitten because it never really stepped out of its comfort zone to be vulnerable and make a connection. So that’s eventually what the story became.”
The moving video has quickly gone viral, garnering over 20 million views on YouTube so far. It has people emotionally invested and has sparked real conversations about the stereotyping of pit bulls. Many online acknowledged that aggression from these dogs stems from the owner and not the dogs themselves. And, of course, it brought a few tears to the eyes of the audience. “It isn’t Pixar unless you cry at the end,” a person shared online.
Watch the short film below.