Pixar Is Developing a Superhero Short About Hinduism and Being Indian American
Sanjay Patel is the son of Indian immigrants. He grew up reading comics and watching cartoons like any American kid, but was also involved with the Hindu rituals of his family. Now an artist for Pixar, he and his team are developing a story based off his experiences called Sanjay’s Super Team.
The short is based of Patel’s childhood and is set in a model that his parents bought that served as a place to work and live. Here’s the official description:
The seven-minute short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons and eating cereal in a bland, beige room as his father jingles a bell, beckoning him to join in meditation. 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.
This isn’t the first time for Patel in exploring his family’s roots. He illustrates graphic novels of Indian culture in his spare time and openly embraces his background. Other Indian Americans have recently come into pop culture, such as Mindy Kaling and Aziz Ansari, but there is still a lot of room for growth and development of Indian, even Asian, representation in the media.
Patel worked on other Pixar projects (A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 3, Monster’s Inc., and The Incredibles). The short will be produced by Nicole Paradis Grindkle and feature music by Mychael Danna.
Sanjay’s Super Team will make its world premiere at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in June and then arrive in theaters in November 25 with The Good Dinosaur.
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