Sanjay Patel
Sanjay Patel, Animator
Name of AAPI FigureSanjay Patel
What is the person’s Asian heritage or ethnicity?Indian
Area of InfluenceAnimator
Date of birth or time period1974/1975
How did this individual make a contribution to their field or to society/culture at large?Sanjay Patel is an American animator and illustrator who has worked in the animation department of various projects, most of them animated films released by Pixar. He is best known for directing the Oscar nominated short animated film Sanjay’s Super Team (2015). He has also worked on numerous Pixar films such as Monsters, Inc. (2001), Ratatouille (2007), Cars (2006), Monsters University (2013), Toy Story 2 (1999) and The Incredibles (2004).
Why did you choose this person? What about their story speaks to you?I have always loved comic books and animation and it was cool to see someone who looks like me work in animation and be recognized.
How does this person inspire you?His story and career is inspirational because he works in mainstream animation but is also inspired by his own Hindu heritage ( reworking the Ramayana, gheehappy). As the child of Indian immigrants, he had to come to terms with his identity as an American kid with an Indian heritage which mirrors the perspectives and experiences of my own identity as well as my parents’ struggles. Hinduism and its associated mythology has always had superheroes and villains and so it seems obvious to Hindu kids that our mythology would be a great inspiration for this genre but somehow it has not yet taken off. If we can have Norwegian mythology inspire Thor, why can’t we have heroes inspired by Hindu mythology? Sanjay Patel inspires us to consider the possibilities.
What surprised you as you were learning about this person?That his parents were supportive of him becoming an animator.
Resources to share if others want to learn more (optional)–list websites, books, or other resources you used to learn about the person(
Submitted byAnonymous
City, StateLexington, MA