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Growing up in India we all have had our fair share of watching cartoons, drawing caricatures, reading comic books and fantasizing about superheroes. But what Sanjay Patel produced with his new Disney Pixar movie was a fantasy that most of us secretly missed somewhere inside our hearts. And when you create something that feels connected to everyone you are bound to be celebrated. ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ did exactly that and is now running for the best short animation film prize at 88th Oscar’s awards to be held on 28th February.
Theme of the movie
Sanjay who makes a directorial debut with this film said in an interview that the movie was related to his parents, his childhood and to the shows that he used to watch. “While making the movie I was exploring my roots and started appreciating them more and more,” he said. The movie is about a boy who is in a trance with his TV and his parents who are Hindu’s, practice meditation and perform ceremonies which he finds very confusing. The boy finds himself caught between the push and pull of culture and technology which is inspired by Sanjay’s own background. It shows how children of immigrants are constantly trying to fit in. It’s hard for them to actually understand as to how the sometimes weird religious expression in their parents upbringing is not so different from the modern rational thinking in the country they are now a part of. Only after appreciating his parents culture Sanjay was able to connect the dots and take inspiration to shape those thoughts into a creative artwork.
Facts you’d want to know
Pixar has put out many feature films over the years but what’s interesting and new here is that the film has its main protagonist as a person of color which is a step forward by Pixar Studios as it reaches out to a more global audience. The boy in the movie imagines Hindu god’s as superheroes and the artwork has been picked up from South Asian dances and mythologies especially from India. John Lasseter at Pixar Studios remarked that they are always trying to create something that directly connects with the audience and that is what makes their movies so compelling. The film will be competing with ‘Bear Story’, directed by Gabriel Osorio, ‘World of Tomorrow’, a work of Don Herzfeld, Richard William’s ‘Prologue’ and ‘We Can’t Live Without Cosmos’, directed by Konstantin Bronzit. This year’s Oscar awards will see two Indian origin directors vying for the coveted prize. Besides Sanjay’s film, Asif Kapadia’s documentary on Amy Winehouse has also been nominated for Best Documentary film award.
The movie is like a small appetizer for people to understand what sort of experiences a child of an immigrant may go through. It’s a film about how to compromise and reflect upon our own imagination. For a film to be nominated for Oscars and having such a deep connection with India is something to take note of. Patel recalls that when his favorite Japanese and American cartoons would come on his father would call them for prayers. To get over the boredom he would imagine Hanuman, Vishnu, and Durga as superheroes. Very little was known about Sanjay Patel but with the success of the movie he has quickly become a star. He took memories of his childhood and turned it into a wholesome animated movie. ‘Sanjay’s Super team’ is a very lovely way to connect with the mainstream audience through his life story. A lot of excitement was created when Lagaan was nominated for 2002 Oscars. Being so close to India’s culture and if Pixar’s record is to be believed Sanjay may just walk out with an Oscar in his hand on 28th February.
The Logical Indian congratulates Sanjay Patel and the crew of Sanjay’s Super Team.