Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Sanjay's Super Team Review
Screw it, I wanna talk about Sanjay's Super Team!
So it's safe to say now that The Good Dinosaur was pretty disappointing. Granted, it wasn't a bad movie, nor was it particularly offensive, but it had such a strong opening that just led to a road movie with dinosaurs and a human kid. Anything it tried to do or say was said and done much better in other Pixar movies.
However, in that review, I gave a brief, yet glowing section to Sanjay's Super Team, a short film that surpassed everything that The Good Dinosaur wanted to be and made it one of my favorite films of the year. Yes, the Pixar short is now probably going to have its own individual entry on my Top 10 Best of 2015 list because of how good it is. Is that morally right? Well, it's not certain, especially with a few massive heavy hitters still on the horizon, but I'd wager that yes, the little short film about and Indian boy is one of the best cinematic experiences of the year.
So, like I said in my original review, this is pretty much a short film about a young boy who is a first generation American growing up in a home with a split culture. His dad is a practicing Hindu, and he makes his son pray with him each morning. Sanjay gets bored, so he imagines the Hindu Gods as super heroes to excite him. And after that, we get a pure visual marvel.
I don't think that these still pictures are a good indicator of just how beautiful the dream sequence is in terms of animation. It's some of the best cel-shading I've seen since Wind Waker. Plus the designs of each of the Gods are crisp, clean, and completely unique. Plus they even have superpowers that are reflective of their own personalities. We've got Vishnu, Durga, and Hanuman all present fighting against an evil, multi armed Asura in 8 glorious minutes of animation.
See, what makes this so good is that it's pretty much based on the actual director's life. Sanjay Patel , the director, actually had these experiences growing up watching Transformers and reading Superman comics. Despite the cultural roots, this is a movie that is a maxing of Hindu mythology with American imagery. These Gods are superheroes, each with their own color scheme and outfits that are even a bit reminiscent of Japanese Super Sentai series. Out of all of the cultures that are represented in American films, Indian and Hinduism are barely represented. If they are, it's either in the context of a popular British film brought over to the states, or through the odd Bollywood movie that slips through he cracks and barely makes a presence here.
Then again, barely anyone even cares about Bollywood except for maybe that Chris Kattan in Bollywood Hero or Slumdog Millionaire. That's about it.
So, go watch this little short film. I don't care if you actually decide to go see The Good Dinosaur (stay and watch it, as inoffensive as it may be), but pay special attention to this little film. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I saw it, and I hope that more people will become interested in Indian culture, iconography, and use it more in American films and entertainment.