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Daily Helping for January 18th, 2021 – Sanjay’s Super Team – Sanjay Patel

An image from the animated short film Sanjay's Super Team. The image shows main character Sanjay, and representations of the Hindu deities Vishnu, Durga, and Hanuman.

It feels like I’m on a roll here. Another animated short that didn’t make me cry! That being said, Sanjay’s Super Team did make me feel a whole rollercoaster of other emotions, because let’s face it. It wouldn’t be a Pixar film without that emotional ride.

Sanjay’s Super Team was actually the first Pixar film to be based on a true story. Or mostly true, as it says in the opening credits. And you can absolutely tell that this is a deeply personal film. Everything about this short film feels completely authentic, even when it’s at its most fantastical. From the incredible angst of Sanjay when he’s pulled away from his favourite TV show to join his father in prayer, to his wide-eyed wonder as his imagination comes to life in front of him, everything feels achingly real.

There is so much to love about this film, including the fact that it’s probably the most visually spectacular of all the Pixar shorts. However, what I loved the most was what it says about the universality of stories. Stories are powerful, and they can cross cultures, foster empathy, and bring people together. You wouldn’t think that American superheroes and Hindu deities would have anything in common, and yet in this film, they bring a father and son together. Both on screen and in real life. That’s the power of stories, and I love it.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!