One of the most underrated Pixar shorts is ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’. Released in 2015, and shown before ‘The Good Dinosaur’, it revolves around a father and his young son. The son, whom the short follows the perspective of, loves nothing more than to watch his favourite cartoon, Super Team, and draw the characters.
The father, on the other hand, wants his son to join him in the daily Hindu meditation sessions and follow the family’s religious beliefs. Through an adventure that only Sanjay’s imagination can take him on, both characters learn that they can accept each other’s beliefs and hobbies.
Not only is this short an underrated one, but it is also one of my favourite Pixar shorts. Loosely based around writer/director Sanjay Patel’s childhood, this short film paints a beautiful story of connection between a father and son.
The short also shows that there can be other ways of teaching religion. As a young boy, Sanjay can’t connect with the daily meditation and prayer sessions. At the start of the short, we see that he’s bored of them; all he wants to do is draw his favourite superheroes and watch cartoons. However, he finds a way to connect with Hinduism, by imagining the Gods as strong and powerful superheroes wanting to protect Sanjay and his family. By viewing Hinduism in this way, the young boy is able to connect with the religion and, furthermore, his father, who then takes an interest when Sanjay draws the Gods as heroes.
‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ has two styles of animation; the 3D CGI animation style, similar to that of ‘Tangled’ and ‘Big Hero 6’, and a more 2D-looking style. The latter style is used during the Super Team cartoon and when Sanjay is imagining the Gods as superheroes.
It’s not only a gorgeous art style, but it’s a fantastic way to show the differences between reality and fiction. The lighting in the imagined sequence is also beautiful and vibrant, especially when the three Hindu gods are shown. They shine brightly in their greyish surroundings, giving them a sense of importance and empowerment.
Overall ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ is a wonderful short film that revolves around family and religious connection. The different animation styles used make this a beautiful and visually spectacular short film to watch, and it also shows that there are other ways of teaching religion. This is a very underrated short film, so I highly recommend more people watch it now that it’s on Disney+.
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