Screenshot: Kitbull (YouTube)

Pixar’s animators have a talent for culling tears from even the rustiest ducts, none of which will be immune to the studio’s latest short. Set in San Francisco’s Mission District, Kitbull tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a skittish kitten and an abused pit bull. Fair warning: If you own a pet, you’re going to cry.

“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,” director Rosana Sullivan says in a behind-the-scenes video. “Growing up, I was always very sensitive and very shy, and had actually a lot of trouble making connections, making friendship. So, I related to this kitten because it never really stepped outside of its comfort zone to be vulnerable and make a connection.”

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Heartwarming story aside, the 2D animation on display—a stylistic departure for Pixar—makes this short well worth the watch. All in all, it’s a good start for Pixar’s new SparkShorts program, which was designed to “discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques and experiment with new production workflows.” That’s a lot of marketing buzzwords, but what it really means is we can expect to see some damn good shorts.

[via Mashable]

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