Several weeks ago I was able to go to The Good Dinosaur press junket in LA. It was so much fun. I love getting behind the scenes of the new and upcoming Disney and Pixar films and learning more about what made them – them. While we were there we were able to meet Sanjay Patel – who is the creator and director of the Pixar short. It is really an amazing story and I want to share it with you today but first here is a clip of the short that will be before The Good Dinosaur which is in theaters Nov. 25:
In “Sanjay‘s Super Team,” the new short film from Pixar Animation Studios, accomplished artist Sanjay Patel uses his own experience to tell the story of a young, first-generation Indian-American boy whose love for western pop culture comes into conflict with his father’s traditions. Sanjay is absorbed in the world of cartoons and comics, while his father tries to draw him into the traditions of his Hindu practice. Tedium and reluctance quickly turn into an awe-inspiring adventure as the boy embarks on a journey he never imagined, returning with a new perspective that they can both embrace.
We got to screen “Sanjay’s Super Team” and then we were able to meet Sanjay Patel (the creator and director) and listen to his story about how the short came to be and his inspiration behind it. Sanjay told us that he has worked at PIXAR for 20 years and this is his first directed project. The story is based on actual events that happened between him and his father. Sanjay has published a few books about Hindu and Indian culture (you can see these at the end of this post) and I think those drawings inspired the way the characters and style of Sanjay’s Super Team look.
John Lasseter saw the display of Asian Art at Pixar and loved it so he asked Sanjay to bring his work in and work on it at PIXAR. He turned John down three times because he felt like it was too personal, so he went and talked to his dad. His dad told him to listen to John, because he has supported Sanjay for 20 years, and otherwise it would be bad karma. So Sanjay agreed to bring his work in and start working on a short. He took a trip to India. Sanjay said “it is like going to the mother-ship. 2 million people like me. I got to India and I felt completely American”. It was so funny. He worked on two story-boards. Thief (which was more East VS. West) and then Super Team. John loved both stories.
Sanjay said he was 35 years old before he read stories from his fathers culture. That is when he got into illustrating books for kids and making it a fun way for them to learn about them. They decided that if they wanted to reach kids today they would have to make it cool and contemporary so they could capture the audience. Some of the things they were thinking when they put Sanjay’s Super Team:
- Deities can do anything (they are not bound by physics or time)
- They used inspirations like an Indian Classical Dance (every gesture means something in these traditions – they have to know where elbows, knees and wrist breaks are)
- The Temple was made circular based on the idea of energy being without beginning or end
- They had to use painted frames to get the correct lighting
- They used a bell from the Asian Art Museum
Sanjay’s Super Team is another great short that you and your kids will love. It will help them learn about differences between cultures, parents and children and the importance of being brave. It opens in front of The Good Dinosaur movie which is in Theaters next Wednesday (Nov 25). You will want to take your family to see both. I can’t recommend them enough!
Here is a clip called “Get Through Your Fear” from The Good Dinosaur:
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THE GOOD DINOSAUR opens in theatres everywhere on November 25th!
This trip is sponsored by Disney, Pixar & Disney Junior. This does not affect my opinions and they are 100% my own.