Disney Pixar movies feature more than just an amazing feature length movie….they have the MOST INCREDIBLE shorts!Who doesn’t love their shorts. From La Luna to the Blue Umbrella…..Pixar has impressed us, made us smile and made us cry. The Good Dinosaur hits theaters Thanksgiving and has THE BEST SHORT YET!!! It is different than the others….I swear.
This is Sanjay Patel.
And this is his mainly true story. Sanjay Patel has been with Pixar for 20 years but this is the first thing he has directed and he had the opportunity to make his first directed piece about HIS family. How did he get so lucky?
Sanjay grew up in a Hindu family, but said he never was able to connect with his culture. He talked about his father’s rituals much like those in the short, and said at times he was even embarrassed of those rituals and his cultures. He said it took him 35 years to read the stories he watched his father read as a child. The look on his face as he described the stories, tells me he wishes he read them much sooner! His face LIT UP!
Sanjay was exposed to Asian art while working as an animator and it was the door into finding his identity. He researched the deities and fell in love with their “super powers”. Shortly after, he began drawing them out and was able to publish a line of children’s book. He actually published 3 books before ever visiting India!
2005- Little India his first self-published children’s book about Ganesha.
2006- The Little Book of Hindu Deities: Penguin Plume books.
2010- Ramayana by Chronicle books. This book was more comic in appearance than the others.
“I was sooo torn between my day job and my night job”– Sanjay Patel.
If you had the chance to read our Exclusive tour of the Pixar studio, you may remember that Pixar has a hallway dedicated to the art work of their animators. It was there that Sanjay displayed his heritage, his connection to his family. He didn’t have to be torn between his jobs. He could work at Pixar and share his new love for Hinduism. John Lasseter also loved his artwork, and quickly called him into the studio to talk about working on a piece around his art!
Only he said no………..3 times. Obviously he finally gave in, and said “It is my sacred duty to at least try!”. He did more than just try…..he did amazing!! I present to you…SANJAY’S SUPER TEAM!!
In Sanjay’s Super Team, 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.
In Sanjay’s Super team, the deities are not bound to physics and are faster than time. They are colorful and breathtaking!
The deities include Hanuman the ape god, Durga the demigod red goddess, and Vishnu the blue one proving preservation and balance are the most important things!
When little Sanjay enters the temple and the deities join, the temple lights up with auroras showing off it’s beauty! The music you hear comes from a special flute, prayer bowls, and the ritual bell- all things true to Hinduism. Pixar even brought in dance specialists to teach the team Kathakali , to make animation feel authentic! The short ends with an anointment, that has an EPIC COSMIC ending bringing peace and understanding!
” The specialness comes from the intimate details that could only come from living it“. – Sanjay Patel
In our time at Pixar, we were able to watch a clip of Sanjay’s father watching the film, and there was not a dry eye in the theater. He said “My hope is coming true, sooo many joys I can’t explain. “. I can’t imagine the honor he felt to call Sanjay his son. You won’t want to miss this short.
“Thankful that Pixar took a chance on the kids with the funny name.”– Sanjay Patel
The Good Dinosaur will be in theaters next week! If you haven’t had a chance to check out the trailer- you can watch it below!