2015 is a landmark year for Pixar, which is releasing two feature films, Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, within a span of five months. In addition, the studio is tying original short films to the features, also making this the first time we have seen two original shorts from Pixar in the same year. Although the first of those shorts, Lava, has already been announced, today is the first we are hearing of the second short, which is called Sanjay’s Super Team. Find details and concept art after the break!
Rebecca Keegan of the LA Times shared first details on the story, which will delve into ideas such as immigration and religion, both of which will be breaking new ground for Pixar. The director of the short is Sanjay Patel, who will be the first non-white director at the studio (EDIT: as pointed out by Kevin in the comments, Pete Sohn, being a Korean American, was actually the first when he directed the short Partly Cloudy. Sohn is currently serving as lead director of The Good Dinosaur.)
Keegan describes the premise of the short below:
The seven-minute short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons and eating cereal in a bland, beige room as his father jingles a bell, beckoning him to join in meditation. Reluctant and bored by the ceremony, Sanjay begins daydreaming a kind of ancient, Hindu version of “The Avengers,” with the gods appearing like superheroes. As the daydream progresses, the color, light and animation of the film grows increasingly dazzling and cosmic, and Sanjay grows closer to understanding his father’s inner world.
Although the short will tackle large ideas such as how a young brown child comes to terms with his cultural identity in a geographic region where he is a minority, don’t expect a seriously grim affair – Pixar has a knack for walking the line between delivering a message in subtle fashion and being preachy, all while inserting enough humor to make it entertaining for all audiences. The gorgeous concept art above highlights that the film will definitely be engrossing from a visual perspective (hi-res image via Cartoon Brew).
Sanjay’s Super Team is produced by Nicole Paradis Grindle (associate producer of Toy Story 3 & Monsters University), while the short’s music is composed by Mychael Danna (Life of Pi). The film will premiere in North America on November 25th with The Good Dinosaur. Its world premiere will occur at France’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June.