Oscars 2020: 'Kitbull' is unlike other Pixar shorts

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pixar is known for its amazing CGI and technological advances, but it's latest Oscar-nominated short "Kitbull" is its first fully 2D-animated project.

The nine-minute short animated film is about a stray cat and an abused pit bull forging an unlikely friendship and a brighter future. Director and writer Rosana Sullivan says it had humble beginnings.

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"I started sketching this little black kitten in 2013 while I was working on a feature film project at the time at Pixar and started watching cat videos for fun for stress relief," Sullivan explains.

From there, Sullivan developed the story and Pixar gave it the green light as one of the first projects in its SparkShorts program, which was designed to discover new story tellers and diverse voices within the animation studio. Sullivan and producer Kathryn Hendrickson said they had six month and a budget of about one fifth of the theatrical shorts.

Sullivan says the 2D style reduced costs and production time but also enhanced the personality traits of the main character.

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"The kitten could not have been done without the hand-drawn quality because the kitten's character itself is unpredictable and spastic," Sullivan explains. "So every drawing is always going to be different from each other from animator to animator."

If Sullivan wins the Oscar, she hopes to make home more than the gold statue. Her husband is allergic to cats but if she wins, she may get one anyway.

Pixar is owned by Disney, which also owns ABC.

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