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Review: Disney & Pixar’s “Elemental”

Disney and Pixar’s Elemental, directed by Peter Sohn, is an evocative and imaginative romantic comedy-drama that carries a significant resonance with real-world societal and cultural issues. It’s a melting pot of vibrant colors, compelling storylines, and emotionally charged performances, setting it firmly as one of Pixar’s best.

The story revolves around Ember (Leah Lewis), a spirited fire element, living in the entrancing Element City—essentially a periodic table-infused city. When Wade (Mamoudou Athie), a water city inspector, enters her life, their ensuing journey through societal expectations, self-discovery, and love becomes the film’s compelling core. With nods to the immigrant story, Ember’s struggle with familial obligation and individual aspiration echoes the experiences of many second-generation immigrants, drawing attention to an often-underexplored theme.

Despite some plot holes and unexplored aspects of Element City, the film scores high on emotional depth and sincerity. The chemistry between Ember and Wade, built on Lewis and Athie’s potent voice performances, is both heart-warming and profound, presenting an interracial love story that reflects our contemporary society. Their nuanced relationships with Ember’s parents, Bernie and Cinder, underpin a powerful family drama that enriches the narrative.

Although at times the script seems heavy-handed and some dialogues come across as contrived, these flaws are overshadowed by the film’s many merits. The humorous undertones, particularly in the depiction of the colorful world of Element City, and the multiple brave climaxes enhance the viewing experience.

The film pays homage to Pixar’s legacy by incorporating elements reminiscent of ‘Up’ and ‘The Incredibles’, without losing its unique charm. On a technical level, Elemental is a feast for the senses with its stunning visuals and sound design. The impressive world-building of Element City, despite its incomplete exploration, contributes to the overall vibrancy of the film.

Where Elemental truly shines, though, is its ability to marry technical mastery with a deeply affecting narrative, resulting in a cinematic experience that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Elemental, despite its minor shortcomings, is a triumphant testament to Pixar’s storytelling prowess. It explores poignant themes and celebrates the beauty of diversity and love, making it not just the must-see movie of the summer, but also an enriching addition to the animated film landscape.

In closing, Elemental is classic Pixar that beautifully blends a love story of opposites attracting with the immigrant journey, all underpinned by visually stunning animation. This charming movie is filled to the brim with heart and soul, offers laughter, tears, and a deeply personal narrative. It features an imaginatively designed world that screams Pixar, populated by endearing characters. With a tender and unforced romance, outstanding animation, and a stellar cast, Elemental is absolutely worth your time.

You can view the trailer for the movie below:

Check out Disney & Pixar’s Elemental, released globally in theatres on June 16.

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