While much publicity is currently being devoted to Pixar Animation Studios’ upcoming animated feature Inside Out opening on June 19th, don’t forget that we will be getting two films from Pixar this year–The Good Dinosaur is scheduled to open on November 25th, 2015. Playing in front of The Good Dinosaur is the newly announced short Sanjay’s Super Team. The short will make its official debut at this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in Annecy, France.
Directed by Pixar animator Sanjay Patel (he joined Pixar in 1996 to work on A Bug’s Life), the short is a personal story related to Sanjay’s childhood. Sanjay, who is from India, emigrated to the United States in the 1980s with his parents. While his new life in the U.S.A. revolved around cartoons and comics, his father continued to show his devotion as a Hindu with daily meditation and prayer.
He told this to the Los Angeles Times:
“My parents’ whole world revolved around their gods, the Hindu deities. Our worlds were diametrically apart. I just wanted my name to be Travis, not Sanjay.”
As the concept art shows, the short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons on television and eating cereal. His father is also in the room praying. As stated by the Los Angeles Times, “Reluctant and bored by the ceremony, Sanjay begins daydreaming a kind of ancient, Hindu version of The Avengers, with the gods appearing like superheroes. As the daydream progresses, the color, light and animation of the film grows increasingly dazzling and cosmic, and Sanjay grows closer to understanding his father’s inner world.”
Sanjay pitched the short to the Pixar executives in the summer of 2012 and John Lasseter encouraged him to celebrate “the personal side of the story.”
He said, “It took me a long time to feel safe with my identity…If I could, I would go back to the 1980s and give my younger self this short. I want to normalize and bring a young brown boy’s story to the pop culture zeitgeist. To have a broad audience like Pixar’s see this … it is a big deal. I’m so excited about that.”