This preview is of the short film “Sanjay’s Super Team” that premieres before Disney/Pixar’s 2015 movie, The Good Dinosaur. Inspired and directed by Pixar Animation Studios artist Sanjay Patel’s experiences growing up as the child of Indian immigrants in California, this short film features the story of a boy and father learning to appreciate and balance Indian and American cultures. The preview opens with a young Sanjay watching cartoons and being beckoned by his father to join him in Hindu meditation and prayer.
What can you tell about these two characters from this preview? What contrast is being made between the young boy and his father? How?
How does this clip challenge us to think about immigration, national boundaries, and religion, and whose cultures and rituals are valued and seen as “belonging,” and whose are not?
How are South Asians depicted in mainstream television and movies? What television or movie characters can you think of? What stereotypes are commonly referenced?
How is Hinduism portrayed in popular culture? What symbols and examples can you think of? How are these examples confused with other symbols, cultures, and religions?
How are racial or ethnic minorities represented in other Disney, Pixar, or mainstream animated films? Does this kind of animated representation matter? Why?
This short film is based off of the experiences of one of Pixar Animation Studio’s artists, an Indian American man who grew up in California with his immigrant parents. Why is it important that he helped direct and shape this story?