Pixar is known not only for such genius gems as ‘Toy Story’, ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Up’ and ‘Inside Out’ but exploring previously untapped lands – from outer space through to the human brain taking in Latin America and Australia in-between.
Now it’s venturing into India – specifically the Indian Diaspora psyche with ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’, an animated short that is set to appear before screenings of the studio’s upcoming ‘The Good Dinosaur’.
Pixar’s also had a long history of creating films about outsiders and misfits and ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ taps into that ethos.
The film is the brainchild of Pixar animator Sanjay Patel, who says he was inspired by his own childhood when he was caught between an increasingly fast-paced, modern world and the traditions of his Hindu family.
Sanjay’s Super Team follows the daydream of a young Indian boy, bored with his father’s religious meditation, who imagines Hindu gods as superheroes.
A teaser clip of the film opens with a young boy, named Sanjay, struggling to watch a superhero cartoon as his Indian father prays in the background.
Mr Patel told the Wall Street Journal: “Every morning, my dad would pray to his gods and his shrine. And I would pray to my shrine, which was, ironically, the TV and the cartoon superheroes that I worshiped.”
“I missed seeing someone that looked like my parents, that looked like me, growing up in the cartoons that I watched as a kid, in the shows that I watched. And I felt that as I discovered more about my roots, there was such cool stuff here that I want to tell my friends about,” Mr. Patel said. The short shows how Sanjay comes to see his family’s Hindu deities as a team of superheroes.
The final version of the animation is seven-minutes long and will premier – along with ‘The Good Dinosaur’ – in the US on 25 November.
The film is the first Pixar project directed by an Indian-American although Mr Patel has previously worked on films such as ‘Monsters Inc’, ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘Cars’.