When Pixar fans head to theaters to watch The Good Dinosaur next month, they will also be treated to the new animated short Sanjay's Super Team. Back in April, we showed you the first look photo from the short, and today we have the first clip, featuring a young Indian boy named Sanjay who is engrossed in a superhero cartoon dubbed Super Team, while his father meditates. A playful battle emerges when Sanjay's father rings a bell, asking the young lad to join him in meditation, but Sanjay has other plans.
The animated short marks the directorial debut of Sanjay Patel, who has worked as an animator and story artist for Pixar since 1998's A Bug's Life. The Sanjay's Super Team plot is loosely based on his own upbringing in San Bernadino, California, where young Sanjay idolized animated superhero shows such as SuperFriends, which served as the inspiration for the fictional SuperTeam. Here's what the director had to say to Yahoo! Movies about how his upbringing influenced the film.
"Every morning my dad worshipped his gods and his shrine and I worshipped mine in mine - which was the TV. There's lots of Easter eggs if you're familiar with the culture. And if you are, man, there's tons of stuff."
Sanjay's Super Team also features three Hindu deities, Vishnu, the blue god of preservation and balance, Durga, the mother goddess in her warrior manifestation and Hanuman, a half-god, half-monkey hybrid. The filmmaker revealed that he chose Vishnu because the theme of the short revolves around a father trying to pass down his culture to his son, while Durga was chosen because "she seemed so appropriate for bringing to life a superhero team". Hanuman was chosen because the deity's mythology is "ubiquitous in Southeast Asia." The filmmaker added that Pixar chief John Lasseter encouraged him to "tell the truth of the experience," which was quite painful for the filmmaker to relive.
"There are some painful memories. There were a lot of South Asians running convenient stores [in movies and on TV]. Growing up, it was bleak."
While there is no dialogue in the short film, as is the case with many Pixar shorts, the music is composed by Mychael Danna (Life of Pi). In addition to the first clip, we also have new concept art for Sanjay's Super Team, which you can check out below. Are you looking forward to this new animated short from Pixar?