Into the Melt­ing Pot

Animation Magazine - - Features -

ICul­tures mix, merge and find com­mon ground in Pixar’s new short,

t’s a scene we’ve all been part of – on one end or the other. A child is hyp­no­tized by a fa­vorite car­toon show run­ning on TV and the par­ent is des­per­ately try­ing to en­gage the child in a con­ver­sa­tion about im­por­tant fam­ily busi­ness. In the case of the new Pixar short, San­jay’s Su­per Team, a Hindu boy only has eyes for his fa­vorite Satur­day morn­ing show while his fa­ther is pained that the boy won’t join him in his morn­ing prayers.

But the short – at­tached to The Good Di­nosaur – uses this set up to take us on a deeply bi­o­graph­i­cal jour­ney with di­rec­tor San­jay Pa- tel, a vet­eran of films like Toy Story 2, The In­cred­i­bles and Mon­sters, Inc., who says his own fa­ther was frus­trated by his son’s fo­cus on Amer­i­can cul­ture and car­toons like Trans­form­ers, Looney Tunes and Su­per­man comics.

“I think I was em­bar­rassed, at times, to be dif­fer­ent from my Amer­i­can friends and I didn’t understand then that what makes you dif­fer­ent makes you spe­cial, gives you a spe­cial per­spec­tive on things,” says Pa­tel at a screen­ing of his short film at Pixar in Emeryville, Calif.

Pa­tel grew up in San Bernardino, Calif., where his par­ents owned and op­er­ated the

Life of Pi)

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A young boy el­e­vates the Hindu di­eties that are part of his fam­ily’s her­itage to the level of his beloved su­per­heroes in the Pixar short San­jay’s Su­per Team.

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