Animator, Sanjay Patel:
Pixar’s Sanjay Patel never wanted to narrate the tale of his relationship with his father through a short animated feature. It was after looking at Patel’s art for children’s books, such as Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth and The Little Book Of Hindu Deities [from his campaign, Ghee Happy] that Pixar’s chief creative officer, John Lassester pushed him into it. Sanjay’s Super Team is ground-breaking for Pixar not only because it got nominated for the Oscars this year but for other reasons too. One, it marks the first ever production by the creative powerhouse to be based on a real life story; an achingly personal film told from an Indian-American perspective. Second, it preaches Indian mythology and culture, opening the door for diverse representations.
Sanjay, the little kid in the short is absorbed in the world of comics and cartoons, while his father tries to rouse his interest in the traditions of the Hindu practice. Unwavering and reluctant, the boy embarks on a journey of revelation and enlightenment; a journey he never imagined, only to return with a fresh new perspective that they both can embrace. Over a telephonic conversation from California, Patel briefly walked me through his life at Pixar, his new short and what Indian traditions mean to him now, after all these years.
Pixar Studio is known for bringing innovation and emotion to the world of computer animated films. Movies such as Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and The Incredibles among others have helped the studio bag 22 Academy awards.
What is animating at Pixar like?
It’s fun. You have a close relationship with people you work with, here, because you get to know so many people. You’ll find people who are doing some really exciting work. It’s an art conducive environment where everybody is sort of inspiring one another. Currently I am story-boarding the sequel to The Incredibles. It’s an amazing experience working with my story supervisor Ted Malfort. I essentially play director and work closely with Brad Bird [Director of The Incredibles and The Ratatouille] at Pixar. Working with them at Pixar is like film education; there is so much to learn from them. In fact I was apprehensive of the idea of making this short in the first place. Although Pixar had reached out to me several times, I wasn’t too kicked about doing this. But it was Jim [President at Pixar] who eventually talked me out of my fears. It’s mostly Pixar veterans who work on shorts per se; that could be one of the reasons too.
MORE IN Film
Ishaan Nair, Director
The new director in Mira Nair’s family, Ishaan has been working after his degree in direction and
On a New High
One of the most prolific actors of Indian Cinema, Rahul Bose was, is and will probably always
A Delhi boy who first came to Bombay back in 2005 is waiting to tell you a beautiful love
Two big-budget Hollywood movies, a popular American TV show and now a new film [Phillauri] ready for release. Are you
A recent graduate from Tisch School of the Arts in New York, Sachin had found his calling quite early on.
#ThrowbackThursday with Vishal Bhardwaj
As Rangoon hits theatres today, we revisit a 2010 conversation between director Vishal Bhardwaj and our then Guest Editor Anurag Kashyap.
O Captain, My
I was born in Bangladesh in 1983 and I studied at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka,
Mishcat Co, Design House
Following a degree in interior architecture, when Ishrat Sahgal returned to Indian shores from The States, it
A white oxford shirt reinterpreted with a diaphanous accordion detail; a monochrome jumpsuit with a cape for an accent; an
All That We Want - The Gaysi Zine
The fifth edition of The Gaysi Zine embarks on a journey to explore the unchartered realm of queer desires, and
All around the world, fireworks are synonymous with celebration. People from different parts of the world may speak different languages
Rush by Mali
When Maalavika Manoj aka Mali started strumming her own tunes she found inspiration in long-lost friendships, memories of home and