REVIEW: Pixar’s Elemental Is Our Next Tough Life Lesson

in Disney, Movies

ember in pixar movie elemental

Credit: Disney

Pixar has been on a streak for many years, and that streak ensures that the protagonist or characters in their stories deliver an emotional story that teaches us a life lesson. Elemental is nothing different, but this time, the life lesson we are all meant to learn is tough to see happen.

Fire and Water in Disney's 'Elemental' | Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

Related: Pixar Director Explains Why ‘Elemental’ Will Be Better Than ‘The Good Dinosaur’

At the story’s core, Elemental is something we have all seen in practically every Pixar movie that has preceded it: love and acceptance. The newest animated offering preaches acceptance more than most films simply because of the nature (or elements) showcased in the film. If you happened to have seen the trailer, you know that elements are the main forces in this story. Earth, wind, water, and fire all play their huge parts, and the story’s protagonist is an anthropomorphic fire girl named Ember. (clever, right?)

However, the trailer also highlights the film’s most powerful message already: elements don’t mix. Suppose that wasn’t enough to tell you what the story follows. In that case, the trailer showcases Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis) and her happenstance run-in with Wade Whipple (Mamoudou Athie), which paints an obvious picture of the pair trying to forge a relationship with one another. That relationship is strained, considering they are opposing elemental forces.

Ember is the next generation of fire, who must carry on the family business from her parents, Bernie Lumen (Ronnie Del Carmen) and Cinder Lumen (Shila Ommi). Ember’s downfall is she is fiery. Yes, the elemental puns are many. Ember cannot control her anger, and that is her biggest characterization. Unfortunately, apart from her penchant for losing her cool, not much else is happening with who she is as a person.

Wade, as you might have guessed, is cooler. Told you there would be more puns. It’s the classic case of two opposing forces who are quite literally bipolar opposites of one another.

pixar director peter sohn in front of display for elemental
Credit: Disney

Director Peter Sohn stated that Elemental was a film that draws heavily on his own life experiences, and we imagine those life experiences have implanted much on the man, so much so that it’s delivered in a near forceful way throughout the story.

“Elements don’t mix” is a huge euphemism for the biggest life lesson in Elemental, which ties to generational trauma and how certain elements are treated. The story teases will stop here, but the quote and the trailer are enough to indicate the biggest theme of this newest Pixar film.

Apart from the film’s story, Elemental is truly captivating in its visuals, which is also something Pixar is known for. The four elements are distinct, and Elemental City is gorgeous. There is a moment shown in the trailer where Ember is dancing on some sort of crystals, and during that moment in the film, it is full of color and life.

The humor certainly ties into how these opposing elements react to one another, and the engagement between water and fire delivers the best jokes. The jokes might not be as high-brow as most Pixar films have been in the past, but the innocence in the delivery of showcasing opposing forces makes for some hearty laughs.

Fire and Water from Disney Pixar's Elemental | Credit: Disney
Fire and Water from Disney Pixar’s Elemental | Credit: Disney

Related: New ‘Elemental’ Experience Debuts in Disney Parks

Elemental might push its underlying theme more heavily than most Pixar films. Still, in the end, it capitalizes on that theme in a way that many people will identify with. The newest Pixar offering might not hit the same level as Soul (2020) or Inside Out (2015), but it’s not as underwhelming as Lightyear (2022). All in all, it’s an enjoyable family film that Pixar and Disney fans will love. Elemental has the right elements to please most fans.

Are you going to see Elemental? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Disney, Movies

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