“Sanjay’s Super Team” features Pixar’s first human protagonist of color

NBC News (by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang):

Pixar Animation Studio‘s first human protagonist of color made his debut on the big screen Thanksgiving week in “Sanjay’s Super Team,” directed by Pixar supervising animator and storyboard artist Sanjay Patel.

The short film opened for “The Good Dinosaur,” directed by Peter Sohn.

Patel told NBC News that, growing up, he felt embarrassed by his identity and tried to fit into mainstream American culture. But as an adult, he came to appreciate the richness of the culture his father was trying to pass on to him.

Sanjay’s Super Team” is a seven-minute short film inspired by Patel’s experiences growing up as the child of immigrants in a modest motel along Route 66. The titular Indian-American boy would rather be daydreaming about television superheroes than praying and doing puja with his father. However, the Hindu deities soon transform into a team of dazzling superheroes in the boy’s imagination, bringing him closer to understanding his immigrant father and his place in America.

Before this film, Patel’s father had not seen any of the movies Patel had worked on in his almost 20 years at Pixar, so the studio invited him to watch the film when it was completed. Patel told NBC News that his father was very moved — he was obviously proud of his son’s achievements but was particularly touched to see a film about their relationship.

Sanjay Patel, director of new Pixar short "Sanjay's Super Team".

Sanjay Patel, director of new Pixar short “Sanjay’s Super Team”

In addition to Patel’s work as an animator at Pixar, whose credits include “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 3,” “Monsters, Inc.,” and “The Incredibles“, what drew Pixar’s attention to Patel’s developing storytelling skills was his work writing and illustrating children’s books like “Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth” and “Ramayana – Divine Loophole,” and his art exhibitions including “Deities, Demons, and Dudes with ‘Staches” at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

 

One thought on ““Sanjay’s Super Team” features Pixar’s first human protagonist of color

  1. WHAT A WONDERFUL LOVING AND RESPECTFUL SON YOU HAVE SIR. SOMETHING THAT IS LACKING IN CHILDREN TODAY IN MY COUNTRY. THE RESPECT AND HUMILITY THEY SHOULD SHOW TO THEIR PARENTS ESPECIALLY THE MOTHER IS RARE TO SEE TODAY. LOOK AT OUR NURSING HOMES. I WOULD WORK TEN JOBS BEFORE i PUT MY MOTHER THE WOMAN WHO CARRIED ME, NURSED ME, RAISED ME, SACRIFICED FOR ME, DID WITHOUT TO GIVE TO ME, IN A NURSING HOME, NEVER! YET IT COMES SO EASY TO THE WHITE RACE. THIS IS NOT SAID AS AN INSULT. iT IS SAID BECAUSE OF EXPERIENCE WORKING IN SUCH PLACES WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE FOR SIX YEARS. I SAW THE LACK OF I DON’T KNOW UNCONDITIONAL LOVE MAYBE? IN THE YEARS I WORKED IN NURSING HOMES. I CAN REMEMBER THE SMELL OF DEATH IN THOSE PLACES. SOOOO WHEN I HEAR THE LOVE AND RESPECT FROM A SON’S WORDS ABOUT HIS FATHER AS I HEARD YOU. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE SON YOU ARE TO YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER I CAN ONLY IMAGINE HOW MUCH LOVE YOU HAVE FOR HER.

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