Pixar just released their newest animated short, “Kitbull.” The 2-D animated short, directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, is less than nine minutes long but packs a seriously powerful emotional punch in that period of time.

This especially hit home for me, the proud father of a handsome aging male Pit Bull Terrier (Mar) as well as beautiful and attitude filled feline, Julio.

Not only is this short exquisitely created via hand-drawing, but this sweetly satisfying story will make even the toughest watcher tear up.

This short film, the first of it's kind for Pixar, could very well be telling the very origin story of these two adopted gentleman.

Kitbull tells the story of a kitten who lives in San Francisco’s Mission District. She spends her nights in a cardboard box snuggled next to her stuffed purple elephant

Then one day, her world changes when a man brings a pit bull into the fenced-in backyard she calls home. The pit bull terrifies the kitten, even though he seems desperate for friendship. He even tries to play with her by knocking around an orange bottle cap with her.

However, the kitten still feels too frightened to let down her walls.

It takes time. Although they have always been civil, my two young handsome furry roomates took a long time to close the geographic and emotional space between them.

In Kitbull, one night, we discover that this pitbull is being used for dogfighting. He returns to the junkyard in the middle of a thunderstorm, his body broken and bleeding. When she sees him, the kitten finally overcomes her fear and learns the true value of vulnerability, trust and friendship.

This broke me, as when my aging pup fell ill a few months back, and the cat, normally pestering and playing with him, fell into step and watched over him all hours of the day. Taking care of his older brother, it was obvious that although they obviously are very different, they share a special bond (mostly searching for snacks from the safety of my home, in their case.)

You can watch the full short here:

In explaining the inspiration behind “Kitbull,” Rosana Sullivan says it began after she watched hours and hours of cat videos.

“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 in the Pixar “Meet the Filmmakers” video seen below.

 

She also added, “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.”

What a powerful message and an incredible piece of film. To learn more about how you can help dogs who have been abused by dogfighting, check out these resources from The Humane Society. And click here to learn how to spot the signs of dogfighting.

Step out of your comfort zone. Get close to something, someone, let them in. You might find out you have more in common than different.