Along with every Pixar film is the Pixar short, a delightful appetizer before the main course. For The Good Dinosaur, coming November 25, there will be Sanjay’s Super Team, from Pixar artist Sanjay Patel. The film combines the heroes of Patel’s favorite childhood cartoons and the gods of his parents’ religion.

The concept art above was debuted by The L.A. Times, who spoke to Patel about how he turned his life into this short:

“My parents’ whole world revolved around their gods, the Hindu deities,” said Patel, 41, who joined Pixar in 1996 as an animator on “A Bug’s Life” and has worked on several films including “Toy Story 3,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “The Incredibles. “Our worlds were diametrically apart. I just wanted my name to be Travis, not Sanjay.”

When Patel was a child, his parents bought the Lido Motel, an old Route 66 stop-off where they still work and live, and which provides the setting for “Sanjay’s Super Team.”

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.

Patel pitched the story in 2012, and was encouraged by John Lasseter to celebrate the personal side of the story. With the weight of Pixar’s resources, it’s probably going to be beautiful.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.