Imagine a city where Elements- fire, water, earth, and air- could come together and live in peace. Our heroine is Ember (Leah Lewis), a fire elemental. Ember’s parents made a hard choice to leave their home, where they were surrounded by others like them. Instead, they decided to start a new life at Element City, where all elements come together. Ember works at a Café-like store, created to attract the clientele of other fire elements. Whenever we see Ember try to handle the many customers in store it’s evident that she has a bad temper. But being a fire elemental, if she doesn’t contain her temper, it can result in a deadly explosion or massive blaze.
One evening when Ember is responsible for running the store on her own during a massive sale event, things begin to go wrong. First, Ember is struggling to keep her hot temper controlled. On top of this, the cafe gets an unexpected visitor from a water element named Wade (Mamoudou Athie), who also happens to be a city inspector. Wade is instantly unimpressed with the store’s condition and claims that he must report his findings to those above him. If Wade’s report is handed in, it could lead to the closure of Ember’s family store. However, as both Ember and Wade continue to interact with one another, an unlikely sweet friendship begins to develop. Perhaps something more could even come from it. Could it be possible for fire and water to mix?
Elemental is an animation feature from Disney Pixar. As you may expect, Pixar has delivered another visually stunning film that introduces many characters and a whole new world that is highly creative and fun to witness. The audio effects are also fun and lively, as is the memorable and highly fitting main theme song, Steal the Show, released by artist Lauv.
The main storyline surrounding both Ember and Wade is the best aspect of the entire movie. It’s a cute and sweet story of an unlikely friendship where opposites begin to connect, which leads to sparks flying as something more stirs and develops. This relationship was the most exciting and engaging part of the film for me, and the characters are just so likeable that I was happy to see them whenever they appeared on-screen. However, the film’s most significant issue is the several subplots alongside this main story that either overstay their welcome or drag the movie on and feel unnecessary. With such wonderful leading characters, I would much prefer this film be a sweet story instead of attempting to squeeze in the many issues that are occurring in the city and, of course, family issues surrounding Ember’s father being unwell or Ember receiving vast amounts of pressure to become something she doesn’t want to be. Parents, please be aware that the film does include a character that does “Smoke reading”, a play for being a tarot card reader.
Overall, this sweet animation film focuses on two likeable and fun characters and their unlikely friendship that grows into something far more significant. The animation from Pixar is a delight, and the outstanding creativity means there’s so much to enjoy visually. Like the animation, the score by Thomas Newman can’t be faulted, and the main theme song from Lauv left an impact. The only major drawback for Elemental is that it gets watered down by multiple subplots, distracting from the main story. Instead of focusing on the main characters, the film goes back and forth between subplots, focusing on pointless hurdles.