Interview with : Sanjay Patel, Supervising Animator and Storyboard Artist at Pixar Animation Studios
Updated on: 11 Dec 2015
Have you walked into a show of The Good Dinosaur this week and seen a seven-minute short called Sanjay's Super Team playing before it? Created by Sanjay Patel, an Indian-origin director at the animation department at PIXAR, Sanjay's Super Team is a delightful film showing a young Indian boy's confusion about religion and roots as he grows up in the US. An email chat with Sanjay — who has worked on PIXAR biggies like Monsters University, Ratatouille, The Incredibles and Toy Story 2.
How did Sanjay's Super Team come about and what was the thought behind it?
I was at a crossroads with my career at PIXAR. Having spent the previous decade working by day at PIXAR and at night writing and illustrating picture books and graphic novels based on Hindu mythology, it felt like time to decide on one or the other. It was a hard decision, but I decided to forego the safety and security of PIXAR to pursue my personal work.
This is when the studio approached me to bring my personal work to work and try and develop it as a short. Yet I was very reluctant as I was sceptical whether the studio would really give me freedom to creatively pursue material that was both so personal and so culturally specific. It was only after talking to my dad and directly asking him what I should do, did I finally decide to try and develop/direct this project, and PIXAR absolutely supported the creative direction.
How prestigious is it for Sanjay's Super Team to be screened as a short before The Good Dinosaur?