Accompanying The Good Dinosaur in cinemas this week is Sanjay’s Super Team, a short film which sits on the other end of the spectrum as one of the most original Pixar shorts to date. In the film, which is the first animation from Pixar to focus entirely on Indian culture and religion, a young boy, Sanjay, is kept from watching his favourite TV series – a show about super heroes – by his Father who wants him to take part in their daily Hindu prayers.
Bored by the experience, and desperate to watch his favourite show, Sanjay starts to imagine these Hindu idols as super heroes, creating a world of his own, which, by the time he comes back down to Earth, helps him connect better with his Father, and their faith.
The seven minute short is beautiful to look at – with some of Pixar’s most inventive and colourful animation to date. It’s heartwarming in its story and creative in its execution. It’s also a personal story for Director Sanjay Patel, a long time Pixar animator – more personal than we’re used to seeing in a Pixar film – and that, combined with a subject matter rarely touched upon in Western animation, makes this a compelling production.
I couldn’t help but thinking of the Netflix series Master of None when watching it – and our main character’s struggles with the lack of relatable Indian actors on the screen. Well, Pixar and Sanjay have at least added something to that conversation…
Review Score: FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Sanjay’s Super Team screens with The Good Dinosaur in cinemas around Australia from Boxing Day. Select cinemas will open on Christmas Day for advance screenings.