Sanjay’s Super Team (2015)


Director Sanjay Patel’s short film can pretty much apply to anyone who is either an immigrant or a minority growing up in America. Too often when you come from an ethnic background, living in the country can help you lose sight of your heritage very easily, and you almost find stuff like family and heritage almost unimportant. For young Sanjay, it’s a matter of perspective that gets him to realize that his heritage is rich, interesting and quite magical.

Sanjay is a young boy who watches his favorite cartoon “Super Team,” a trio of Caucasian superheroes battling pure evil, and becomes annoyed when his dad attempts meditation at a shrine in the same room. When Sanjay loses the battle to watch his favorite show, he’s pressed in to meditating with his dad and garners a sense of clarity about how important certain rituals are to people. For Sanjay it’s not very important, but he finds out that his entire culture is quite fascinating, especially when he begins picturing them as superheroes in their own right. When he’s magically transported in to a temple after putting out his dad’s oil lamp, Sanjay watches as the dastardly Ravana begins consuming the temple with his darkness and hurting the magical deities.

Sanjay jumps in to action to help bring to life the three gods Vishnu, Durga, and Hanuman. The trio commit to snuffing out the darkness with their own magical powers, and by helping them, they give Sanjay a cause for finding a way to commit to his own culture, while also sticking to what he loves in his new home in America. Patel’s striking sense of color and light help boost the simple animation with new dimensions and a sense of originality. I also love how the very down to Earth narrative conveys very important overtones about remembering where you come from, and respect for culture. “Sanjay’s Super Team” is a cute short typical of Pixar entertainment, and I can’t wait to see it again.