Sanjay’s Super Team is a Pixar short animated film directed by Sanjay Patel. It premiered on June 15, 2015 at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France, and accompanied the theatrical release of Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur on November 25, 2015.
Inspired by Patel’s own childhood when he felt conflicted by the modern world and the Hindu traditions of his family, Sanjay’s Super Team follows the daydream of a young Indian boy, bored with his father’s religious meditation, who imagines Hindu gods as superheroes.
‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ Oscars 2016 Short Film (Animated) from Raj Kamal Singh on Vimeo.
An intertitle card at the start of the short states that it is based on a (mostly) true story.
A young boy, Sanjay, is watching his favorite superhero cartoon, Super Team, while his father is trying to meditate at a small Hindu shrine in the same room at home. Each is annoyed by the other’s activity until Sanjay’s father shuts off the television, confiscates his son’s Super Team action figure, and makes him participate in prayer. Sanjay retrieves the toy while his father is distracted, but accidentally sets its cape on fire from the shrine’s oil lamp. While putting out the cape, he extinguishes the lamp as well and is transported to a temple with three stone statues. Suddenly, Ravana appears and begins to steal the statues’ weapons, shattering them in the process. Sanjay breaks the light-up mechanism in his toy and uses it to light the giant lamp in the middle of the room, bringing the statues to life as the gods Vishnu, Durga, and Hanuman. The gods begin to fend off Ravana’s attacks and ring their bells to drive him back, but he retaliates. Sanjay recognizes the giant lamp as an upside-down bell and breaks his toy on it to ring it aloud, calming Ravana so that he departs the temple. Sanjay receives a new toy from Vishnu as well as his blessing, then finds himself back in the real world. His father allows him to continue watching Super Team, and Sanjay surprises him with a drawing that shows the gods watching over the cartoon heroes.
The story ends with real-life pictures of Sanjay Patel and his father, during his childhood and in the present day.
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