Kitching grew up in the London suburb of Wimbledon, and was educated at King's College School, Wimbledon, where he was equally at home in the art school and the science lab. This was at the time when author C.P Snow's book "The Two Cultures" had highlighted the educational divide between arts and sciences, and sparked widespread debate. In 1963, Kitching was awarded an Open Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, at Cambridge where he chose to read Architecture and Fine Arts, as embodying both artistic and scientific aspects.At school, Kitching had already produced some experimental animations, using a home-made rostrum camera. In the year's gap between school and Cambridge, he went to work as assistant to animator Trevor Bond at Dart Films, in London's Soho, where he undertook a wide range of projects from commercials for cinema and TV, and educational productions, to feature film titles, including a couple of early James Bond movies. At Cambridge, Kitching's involvement with animation continued, including working with Richard Arnall to help organise the firstever British Animation Festival, in 1965, and founding the Cambridge Animation Group. In vacation months, he also went to work in the Mayfair studio of innovative photographer designer Maurice Rickards, where he learnt the techniques of professional graphic design and photography.