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The short which precedes The Good Dinosaur, arguably should have been the production which got to become a full-length movie.
Characters & Story (with Commentary)
Little Sanjay loves action heroes, to the point he’d rather watch them on television than pray with his dad. Something which bothers the dad for he wants to instill in his boy tradition, a sense of religion and, with there being no mother around in the short, arguably he may very well be raising his boy alone. So, as Sanjay pays more attention to his toy and the corresponding TV show than meditating, the toy is taken.
Thus leading to Sanjay first figuring out how to get the toy, then sneak away from his father. However, being that he is transported to a world in which this shadow monster is trying to face him, he comes to find the gods his father pray to are more than idols, but superheroes in their own right.
As much as Pixar is worth praising for the diversity of their stories, and how heartfelt they are, one major thing often missing from their productions is diversity in characters. Making us see an Indian boy, being raised a Hindu, as a star perhaps something that should be a big deal.
Alongside that, though, I think another thing worth noting is that, even without hardly more than a sentence or two spoken, it is so easy to relate and feel something for both the father and the child in this short. You can see the dad is just trying to pray and get his boy to appreciate what the gods do for them, yet also can you imagine being a little kid and being told to sit and meditate?
Honestly, I felt like this short could have been made into a full-length movie. One featuring Sanjay learning about the various Hindu gods, understanding his father’s faith, and a slew of other things.
In retrospect, I have no idea what manifested the shadow creature which tried to attack Sanjay.
Overall: Worth Seeing
To me, the lead in was better than the main event. It had heart, made you teary-eyed, and presented the type of story that, at least in American media, can’t be considered overdone ad nausea. Alas, though, it is but a short, but hopefully Sanjay Patel will eventually get to expand this story or others like it, and help Pixar’s next big triumphant not only be exploring different ways to tell familiar stories but have them star different looking characters than what they largely choose.