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Western Animation / Kitbull

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Kitbull is a 2019 animated short film (9 minutes) by Pixar and directed by Rosana Sullivan.

A stray kitten lives in the garbage cans behind a building in what is eventually revealed to be San Francisco. The kitten does a pretty good job providing for herself, even managing to find a fish. One day the people who work in the building the kitten lives behind show up with a pit bull. The little kitten is naturally scared of the big strong pitbull, even though the dog never makes any aggressive move towards the kitten. Eventually the dog and the kitten make a tentative friendship—and then the cat finds out something disturbing about the dog.

Notable for being Pixar's first 2D short, created with 3D layout models and animated in a "paperless" traditional style. It was the first of three films created for Pixar's Sparkshorts series for Disney+, along with Purl and Smash & Grab, and got got an early leak to YouTube. It was nominated for a Best Animated Short award at the 2020 Oscars.


  • An Aesop: The point of the shot is that pit bulls aren't inherently bad dogs. The short drops this anvil with no words at all, but makes it very clear that the pit bull is a sweet, friendly, gentle lug of a dog who just wants to be friends with the kitten, even after he's treated like crap by his previous owner.
  • Animal Jingoism: Averted. The kitten initially distrusts the pit bull and refuses to let him near her, but the pit bull simply wants to be friends and play with her. They eventually become thick as thieves.
  • Attack the Tail: The kitten pounces on and repeatedly bites the pit bull's tail at the end before he takes it out of her mouth and gently dope slaps her with it.
  • Author Appeal: Rosana Sullivan admitted that the film grew out of her desire to just doodle some cute cats.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Bad people take cute cuddly pit bulls and use them for dogfighting.
  • Beastly Bloodsports: The dog is being abused by its owners, who are running an underground dogfighting ring. The dog is thrown out of the back of the building, covered in open, bleeding wounds.
  • Book Ends: Early in the cartoon, the cat is approached by a friendly woman, but runs away. At the end, the same woman approaches the cat again. The kitten, who has learned how to trust, approaches the woman and also introduces her to the pit bull. The cartoon ends with the woman, her partner, the kitten, and the dog all living together.
  • Cats Are Mean: Downplayed. The kitten isn’t mean, just very skittish and paranoid due to instinct and being a baby, and has a good heart.
  • Character Development: The kitten recoils from the nice lady in the opening scene, but in the end, after having learned a lesson about trust with the pit bull, the kitten trusts the woman, and is adopted.
  • Clueless Aesop: The short’s Aesop is that pit bull behavior is a largely a consequence of good or bad ownership rather than being entirely inherent to the breed, yet it never shows any of the consequences of a harsh background on the pit bull being focused on, who is a friendly and lovable Gentle Giant through and through.
  • Cute Kitten: The little black kitten is very, very cute. Watch it act tough and stick out its claws when the dog approaches!
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the end of the short, the kitten and the pitbull are both adopted by a kind woman, and the last shot is of the kitten and pitbull playing in a park together while their new owner and her partner happily watch them.
  • Gentle Giant: Well from the cat's perspective the pit bull is definitely a giant. And the dog is definitely gentle, clearly yearning for someone to love. Apparently the dog isn't even good at dogfighting, given how its abusive master chucks it out the back door.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Just to make things even sadder when the man throws the limp, bleeding pit bull out the back door, it's pouring rain.
  • Gut Punch: It's an animated short about a kitten befriending a big dog! This is just going to be ten minutes of fluffy fun, right? Yeah... not so much. It's already clear the pit bull's owner is a nasty piece of work who has no business owning a dog, but then we see the poor thing covered in visible, bloody injuries, while his owner kicks him out of the house to sleep in the rain. Ouch.
  • Interspecies Friendship: A cute little kitten makes friends with a gentle pit bull.
  • Karma Houdini: Aside from losing his dog, the pit bull's owner is never punished for his abuse. Since the kitten and the pit bull can't exactly tell anybody (and their new, kind owner doesn't know where they came from), he's never reported to the Humane Society or something, meaning there's nothing to stop him from getting another dog.
  • Leitmotif: An ominous bass hum comes on the soundtrack every time the pit bull's owner appears.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The kitten scratches the pit bull on the nose out of fear that he would bite her. She realizes that she did wrong by herself and helps him get better.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: The kitten is initially afraid and untrusting of the pit bull (who, to be fair, is huge compared to her), and the dog's owners try to turn him into a vicious fighter. Even the nice woman at the end is initially wary when she sees him approach... but then the kitten curls up at his feet, and she sees that he's just a sweet, innocent pup who needs love and a home, just like the kitten.
  • Open the Iris: When the kitten is frightened or playful, her iris pretty much expands to fill its whole eyeball (typical of cats, IRL).
  • Portmantitle: Kitten + pit bull = "Kitbull".
  • Silence is Golden: Like most of the Pixar shorts, there is no dialogue.