Disney's new series of short films from Pixar aim to allow people from the studio, not just animators and directors, to be able to tell stories. In their latest effort, their attention turns to the life of an abused dog as he makes an unlikely friendship.
SparkShorts says that it aims to "discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques and experiment with new production workflows." Basically, they know that everyone can have good ideas, not only the people working in the creative department, so they've given staff the means to tell their story and in news ways.
The outcome is a disruptive form of film, one that champions the mind and creative process of the individual, rather than more archaic controlling elements like reputation in the industry or bureaucratic processes that freeze out certain people's ideas simply because their credentials aren't quite right.
In this particular film, Kitbull, directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, we are able to see the way that two lives, seemingly completely opposed, are brought together by circumstance.
A touching tale that also has an animation style that is under-utilised, the plainer and more expressive form that was characteristic of older Disney tales, Kitbull feels like something from the archives. It's a timeless tale told in a relatable way and so far has found great success amongst Disney fans and beyond.
Fans of both film and animals are championing its choice of humanising the pitbull breed of dog, one that unfortunately suffers a nasty reputation due to unscrupulous owners training the dogs to fight.
Pixar are exploring new themes and techniques in the series and the director here chose to use her platform as a way to explore and challenge a commonly held stigma around the dog. The relationship between the two main characters have people pouring their hearts out (and pouring their tears out) about the importance of understanding animals, especially how we perceive certain species to be.
You can find the SparkShorts website here and further explore what they have on offer. It shows the power of the studio that they have the means to make this happen, but also the power of a story and that they can exist in anyone's mind, not just the people we expect to tell them.
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