“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.

 

17th DigiCon6 ASIA Supreme Short Movie Contest: “Tokyo Cosmo” by Takuya Okada

RocketNews 24:

There are millions of people living in Tokyo, and most of them moved from somewhere else to Tokyo in order to find work in the bustling city. Among these millions is a large number of people who choose to forgo a long commute and live on their own in a tiny apartment, so we’re sure many share very similar experiences at home.

A whimsical CG film entered in the 17th DigiCon6 ASIA Supreme Short Movie Contest has captured a ton of popularity for its animation style, which many say is reminiscent of a Pixar movie. But what really sets it apart is the fact that the short film shares Pixar’s playfulness as well.

Created by Takuya Okada, this short movie starts off with a normal “end of the day” scene that we imagine any officer worker in Tokyo would recognize, but it soon turns into a magical journey through a runaway imagination.

These dream-like sequences are probably a product of a worker’s incredibly tired mind, since we all know how long the average office worker’s day is. Still, it’s a treat to see the crazy adventures that play out in our mind animated in such an exciting way! The 17thDigiCon6 ASIA Supreme Short Movie Contest is being run by TBS in Japan and this particular short film is an audience choice entry. Voting ends on November 6, so if you enjoyed watching it, make sure you give it your support on their voting page (click the pink box).

You can also check out Takuya Okada’s YouTube page for other videos.

Pixar’s Indian American short film ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ 

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Audrey Magazine: (Ethel Navales) 

Pixar has released exciting news about their newest short film, “Sanjay’s Super Team.”

The short’s director, Sanjay Patel, admits that much of his own life and experiences shaped the story. Specifically, his childhood battle between his American upbringing and his Indian roots. Sanjay felt conflicted between the side of him that watched cartoons and read comics versus the side of him that performed pujaa daily Hindu meditation and prayer ritual.

My parents’ whole world revolved around their gods, the Hindu deities,” Patel told the Los Angeles Times. “Our worlds were diametrically apart. I just wanted my name to be Travis, not Sanjay.”

This also seems to be the case with young Sanjay, the animated protagonist in the 7-minute Pixar short. When Sanjay is pulled away from watching cartoons to meditate and pray, he is both bored and reluctant. As such, he begins to daydream and imagines the Hindu deities as a team of superheroes. Needless to say, he becomes entranced in his daydream. With a newfound interest in the Hindu deities, he becomes one step closer to understanding his religious immigrant parents.

If I could, I would go back to the 1980s and give my younger self this short,” Patel said the Los Angeles Times. “I want to normalize and bring a young brown boy’s story to the pop culture zeitgeist. To have a broad audience like Pixar’s see this … it is a big deal. I’m so excited about that.

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Intrigued? You should be. Director Sanjay Patel has quite an impressive amount of achievements under his belt an animator on A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc. and The Incredibles. This short will be released with the upcoming Pixar film The Good Dinosaur on November 25th. But if that’s just too far away, you can catch “Sanjay’s Super Team” early at June’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France.

Mindy Kaling at this year’s Super Bowl

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 Audrey Magazine: 

Okay, technically you won’t be able to see Mindy Kaling out on the actual field, but you will be able to see her in a Super Bowl commercial for Nationwide Insurance. Last year’s Super Bowl drew 111.5 million viewers and the price for a 30 second Super Bowl commercial is at least 4 million. So yes, Mindy Kaling’s commercial is a huge deal. Ironically enough, the commercial seems to revolve around Mindy Kaling turning invisible.

How does this relates to Nationwide Insurance? We are not sure.  While we are tempted to write to Nationwide Insurance with our theories (is this a commentary on Asians being the invisible minority or are we overthinking it?), it may be better to ask Mindy herself.

My writers and I had so much fun brainstorming ideas for this ad because it was all about wish fulfillment,” Kaling told AdWeek.

For instance, I have always wanted to walk through a car wash, and then I got to do it for the ad! In this ad I was able to have fun fantasizing about all the ridiculous stuff you would do if you were invisible…and mischievous.”

Outside of Super Bowl commercials, Mindy remains plenty visible. The Mindy Project is still going strong at it’s third season. Ugly Betty‘s Vanessa Williams will be a guest star on an upcoming episode and Mindy Kaling is nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy Series at the NAACP Awards. Mindy will also be starring in Pixar’s upcoming movie Inside Out in July and her second book Why Not Me is tentatively scheduled for a September release.

Toy Story x Medicom Toy (Japan) 400% Woody and Buzz Lightyear Bearbrick

Medicom Toy unveils its latest collaboration with Disney’s Toy Story franchise with two new Bearbricks, one of Woody and the other of Buzz Lightyear. The main characters of the franchise are re-imagined in Bearbrick fashion, while still staying true to Woody’s cowboy characteristics and Buzz Lightyear’s futuristic features.

Both retail for ¥7,800 JPY (approximately $66 USD) and will be released May of this year at select stockists or online at Medicom Toy.

Concept art of the Yakuza wrestling match cut from Big Hero 6

Concept Art Of The Yakuza Wrestling Match Cut From Big Hero 6—And More

iO9:

In one iteration of Big Hero 6‘s story had Baymax battling (or perhaps failing to battle) a wrestler while a crowd of gangsters looked on. This concept art by Ryan Lang shows what could have been. Check out more alternative and developmental Big Hero 6 art below.

Lang writes this about the piece:

This was an concept piece I did for a moment that was in an earlier version of the movie, but this image ended up in the “art of” book. This was a fun piece. I actually named all the gangsters in the back based off of local/japanese food you can get in Hawaii, where I was born and raised. I think I was pushing for a late 70’s/ early 80’s vibe, which I thought would have been awesome. Think of an animated sci-fi superhero movie, in the period of “American Hustle”, and that’s what I was trying to get across.

That’s not the only piece of Big Hero 6 concept art that Lang has shared. He also has a more Gundam-like design for Baymax’s red armor:

Concept Art Of The Yakuza Wrestling Match Cut From Big Hero 6—And MoreEXPAND