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"Elemental is an irresistible concoction of filmmaking up there with some of Pixar’s best."

Disney Pixar has struggled with its feature films throughout, and now post, the pandemic. Most have landed higher in people’s appreciation - although last year’s Lightyear isn’t amongst them - but with three of their films being unceremoniously dumped on Disney Plus; Pixar isn’t standing at the lofty heights it’s used to. Elemental, Pixar’s first completely original film to release in cinemas in over three years, is desperately trying to overhaul this narrative, and it does. Elemental is an irresistible concoction of filmmaking up there with some of Pixar’s best.

Transporting us to the fantasy world of Element City, albeit a world that’s not so different from our own. Water, earth, and air live amongst each other. Ember is a fire element who lives with her family in Firetown who helped to create the buzzing community after coming from a far away land. When she accidentally meets Wade - a water element - they are thrust into an adventure where they discover how similar they really are. Elemental is without a doubt high standard Pixar fare. It ticks all the Pixar boxes. It’s effortlessly romantic and equally as moving.


Pixar’s bread and butter is making original stories that hold significant importance and weight, and spinning them through creatively produced worlds that resonate across every generation. Peter Sohn and the team achieve this in Elemental with flying colours. Pixar has never explored the immigrant experience properly in a film before, but it’s done here with deft and love. This might be partly because Peter Sohn has based it off his own experience with his family, which makes for a more authentic portrayal of the subject. The world they have created to tell this beautiful story is nothing short of magnificent. The idea of anthropomorphic elements on paper seems destined to fail, but the team's creativity knows no bounds.

The story is helped along by the fact that Elemental’s main characters - Ember and Wade - are both so likeable, and voiced brilliantly by Leah Lewis, and Mamoudou Athie respectively. Their romance bubbles up slowly to a loving crescendo where the two of them truly connect for the first time. It’s also wonderful to see a male character as in touch with his emotions as Wade is. You’re guaranteed to cry at least half as much as he does in Elemental - okay maybe about a quarter.


All to say this review is written by someone who doesn’t believe that the quality of Pixar films - bar only Lightyear - has even gone down. Soul, Luca, and Turning Red are all absolutely wonderful films in their own rights. When it comes to Pixar people have a big problem with comparing and if, say you love Ratatouille so much then everything after it is going to look bad comparatively. In conclusion Pixar films don’t always have to be life changing masterpieces, Elemental isn’t. That’s not at all to say that it isn't a completely wonderful film that achieves everything it sets out to and very well too.


Elemental rating


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