New Pixar short touches on religion, intergenerational differences

16 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

American film to present Hindu gods as superheroes.

Plenty of serious topics — like love, loss, and friendship — have been given the Pixar treatment, but by the looks of a trailer for its upcoming short, Sanjay’s Super Team, the studio is heading into new territory In the first trailer for the short, viewers are introduced to Sanjay, a cartoon-loving kid, and his religious Hindu dad. Before audiences meet Disney/Pixar’s Good Dinosaur this November, they’ll be introduced to little Sanjay — the star of the studio’s next short, Sanjay’s Super Team.New Delhi: US film production studio Disney-Pixar’s short movie ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ is set to present Hindu gods as superheroes on Indian screens in December.

A superhero project is coming from Pixar later this year and no, it’s not an “Incredibles” sequel. “Sanjay’s Super Team” is a short attached to “The Good Dinosaur,” checking off a couple of firsts: the first Pixar film to center around Hindu deities, who are like the Avengers, and the first Pixar toon by a director of Indian descent. When Sanjay’s father rings a bell to signify the start of morning prayers, Sanjay is less than eager to tear himself away from his beloved Saturday morning superhero cartoons, a premise which marks the first time the studio has explicity made religion the subject of a film.

Directed by Sanjay Patel, the film is his personal story and a “mostly true” chronicle of his journey to understand the Hindu world that is important to his parents. Helmed by first-time director Sanjay Patel (an animator on Monster’s Inc. and The Incredibles), the sneak-peek at the short also addresses the intergenerational differences in acculturation, all with a dose of Pixar’s signature gloss. The animation film shows how he 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.

Patel “didn’t want film to match any deity style,” producer Nicole Grindle said to Variety. “Sanjay wanted to interpret it to our 3D Pixar world.” The helmer, who has been with Pixar since 1996, has worked as an animator on such films as “Monsters Inc.,” “Ratatouille,” “Cars,” “Monsters University,” “Toy Story 2” and “The Incredibles,” also doing duty as storyboarder on the latter two films. The longtime Pixar animator told Variety that he was a “late bloomer in my parents’ culture.” Ten years into working for the studio on movies including Monsters Inc., Toy Story 2, and, yes, The Incredibles, he developed a new appreciation for Indian culture. While he tries to follow the tradition with reluctance, the boy soon finds himself in another world where a trio of Hindu deities, including Hanuman — who represents strength and valour — are fighting a villain. Those things were made in early ’70s in mid-’80s, there were cooler comic books.” The story is as much about Sanjay’s relationship with his father as it is about the super heroes, with music composed by Mychael Danna.

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