Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Super Short: Pixar's Next Short Film Revealed!

Details on a new Pixar short have been revealed!

Since 2013, we knew that Lava - a cool-looking musical tale about anthropomorphic volcanos, would be attached to Inside Out. What's going to be attached to The Good Dinosaur, the other Pixar film that's coming out this year?

We know now...

It's called Sanjay's Super Team...

The short is the personal brainchild of long-time Pixar animator Sanjay Patel...

What is it about? The short will be about the director himself...

"The seven-minute short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons and eating cereal in a bland, beige room as his father jingles a bell, beckoning him to join in meditation. Reluctant and bored by the ceremony, Sanjay begins daydreaming a kind of ancient, Hindu version of The Avengers, with the gods appearing like superheroes. As the daydream progresses, the color, light and animation of the film grows increasingly dazzling and cosmic, and Sanjay grows closer to understanding his father's inner world."

So an autobiographical Pixar short, eh? That is certainly new!

The setting will be the motel that Patel was raised in, a Route 66 motel called Lido Motel. Wow... Pixar makes a film about Route 66 and is now making a short based on someone's childhood in a Route 66 motel...

Patel also talked about how his parents were very religious, while he (growing up in the 1980s) was more immersed in American culture and actually wanted his name to be "Travis". The short seems like it'll capture how he felt as a child, being into both American culture and his Indian background...

The music for the short will be composed by Mychael Danna, who did the scores for Life of Pi and Monsoon WeddingToy Story 3 and Monsters University associate producer Nicole Paradis Grindle will produce.

"It took me a long time to feel safe with my identity. But [Pixar Chief Creative Officer] John Lasseter felt strongly about celebrating the personal side of the story."

First off, it's great to see a Pixar film - short of feature - from an Indian perspective. Let's hope that we see features/shorts from them in the future that are the personal voices of directors with different backgrounds.

I'm guessing that the animation style might change during his daydream, as a short gives Pixar the opportunity to really experiment. Most of Pixar's films don't break out into wildly different animation styles. Outside of credits sequences, Ratatouille has some abstract animation illustrating how Remy experiences tastes when he's eating, but that's about it. A studio like DreamWorks goes a bit farther in that department, the Kung Fu Panda films have traditionally animated sequences while The Croods has a moving cave painting prologue. I wonder if Pixar will do something like that with one of their films one day... The shorts on the other experiment more when it comes to animation styles, just watch Your Friend the Rat and Day & Night.

The short will debut at Annecy first in June, but that's not shocking since Disney-released short films that come around in the autumn usually debut at Annecy first. The Good Dinosaur is Pixar's first autumn production since 2004's The Incredibles, so it make sense that they'll show it at Annecy.

Overall, I love the subject matter and it seems like it'll have a lot to offer. It promises a good story and something visually cool. I mean, Hindu gods as superheroes? All tied to a personal story? I'm sold!

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