Verdict: Elemental is a visually stunning animation with an important message and beautiful story

  • Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Catherine O'Hara
  • July 7th 2023
  • Peter Sohn

Disney/Pixar’s latest animation follows a fire element and water element as they become friends.

Following last year’s underwhelming Lightyear, Pixar is back with the fantastic animation Elemental.

The story is set in Element City, where fire, water, land and air residents live together in harmony.

However, most of the other elements are scared of the fire people and so they have created their own neighbourhood called Firetown.

The film follows feisty fire girl named Ember Lumen (voiced by Leah Lewis) and chilled water guy named Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie) as they form a bond despite society telling them that elements can’t mix.

They discover they have more in common than they realised and team up to save Ember’s family’s store, The Fireplace.

Elemental depicts an adorable romance between two very different people in a world where elements aren’t supposed to date outside of their own kind. In this instance, Wade could extinguish Ember and she could evaporate him!

It may be based in a fantasy land, but the real-world message behind this story is important and valuable for children to learn and it is also quite moving in places.

The narrative also explores the immigrant experience. Ember’s parents left their homeland in search of a new life in Elemental City but they are marginalised and treated like outsiders.

Fire people remedy this by creating their own community and keeping to themselves.

In addition, Ember feels like she has to inherit her father’s beloved store to make her parents proud and she doesn’t handle the pressure well – her temper is a big problem.

Every Pixar movie looks amazing, but Elemental is on a whole other level. It is visually stunning and a real feast for the eyes.

The world-building of Element City is so clever and creative and it is fun seeing how it operates differently to the human world.

It’s hard to fathom why this movie hasn’t done well commercially in America – it tells a beautiful story and is so wholesome and full of heart.

In cinemas from Friday 7th July.

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