Directors: Sanjay Patel.
Writers: Sanjay Patel.
Producer: Nicole Paradis Grindle.
Composer: Mychael Danna.
Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios.
Distributor: Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
Release date: 2015.
Running time: 7 minutes.
Sanjay is a young boy who asks his father to introduce him to the Hindu ritual of meditation and prayer.
This short film was inspired by the director’s personal experience, as he is himself the son of Indian immigrants.
The script originally put forward the little boy in the short as loving graphic novels and stealing temple donations to buy an album. He then had to contend with a horrific monster and was to be assisted by deities. At the end, he gave the temple a large sum and started altering his graphic novels by adding “Hindu” elements.
Sanjay's Super Team is first and foremost dedicated to the director’s father who inspired the former so very much. He was even the one who enabled him to enter Pixar Animation Studios to screen the short. His father was very much moved by his son’s work and the way he combined two worlds that were poles apart from each other.
The crew visited Hindu temples to immerse themselves fully into their atmosphere and view specific imagery of this culture.
A cel-shading render was added to one of the sequences to further enhance the spiritual atmosphere that prevails when the deities are around.
When watching Sanjay's Super Team, one is not immediately struck by “made in Pixar” trademark. As much as the opening scene would, as well as the end, the main part of the short is far from what viewers are accustomed to watching.
The Hindu culture is largely depicted through the father’s ritual, but also through the way the temple and its deities are depicted. From that point of view, Pixar adds plenty to this world which they had never ventured into before. Yet with this short, Pixar flirts with the making of Japanese anime: a dynamic form of editing, swift camera movements, speed effects…
Huge work has been put into the short’s lighting effects. They are in fact its main component. A play on multi-coloured lighting effects offers an enchanting environment. Shadows furthermore benefit from a cel-shading style which immerses viewers even further into a dreamy atmosphere (we are after all inside the young boy’s imagination).
Sanjay's Super Team is a short film that distinguishes itself from all its predecessors and combines so many styles it proves both surprising and intriguing. Viewers shall either be disappointed or really love it.