Pixar’s Sanjay Patel wrote and directed this animated short about his childhood and the struggle between technology and Western culture and his family’s Hindu religion and Eastern culture. It’s a lovely story about a boy discovering a way to appreciate his family’s heritage.
I watched Patel’s interview with The Wall Street Journal, and his story really struck me. He grew up in California, the son of immigrant parents.
“. . . Like any kid of an immigrant, I just wanted to fit in. Speaking for myself, fitting in meant I just wanted to get rid of my weird name, and my parents with the weird traditions and the funny background. I was just embarrassed and felt kind of ashamed of being different. It took a long time to discover myself as an artist and find some of my identity there. It took even longer to find the artwork and the inspiration from my parents’ culture. Once I did, that felt like all the dots connected. Suddenly, what I learned about my parents’ culture helped me understand who exactly my parents were.”
This short is part of John Lasseter’s push to get Disney/Pixar to include more women and ethnic minorities in their films. I applaud their (belated) multicultural effort. I guess better late than never. I am such a huge fan of Pixar, and I am pleased they’re working to close the diversity gap in their oeuvre.
I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it!