Elemental (2023) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Great messages, some adventure, some humor and a bit of romance abound throughout the script, making Elemental one of Pixar's best movies to date.

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water - The four elements of nature that make up all matter.  The world needs all of them to survive but, as we all know, they do not mix.  Of course, this makes life somewhat interesting in Element City.  While water, air, and earth live happily side by side, fire lives amongst themselves on the other side of town.  That part of town no longer has water flowing through the pipes as a precaution so as to not accidentally extinguish Fire Town.  

But what happens when a leak is discovered and comes pouring through the pipes?  How is it happening and how do they stop it before it destroys all of Fire Town? That is what Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis; Nancy Drew) and Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie; Jurassic World: Dominion) try to find out in Pixar's new release Elemental.

Ember is an only child and is set to take over her parents' store.  Unfortunately, Ember seems to have a short fuse and easily ignites her temper when confronted with unreasonable customers.  To succeed, Ember's father lets her open the store by herself on the morning of the red dot sale. 

However, when she feels like she might blow up, she runs to the shop's basement. There, while letting off steam, Ember accidentally bursts some water pipes and somehow sucks building inspector Wade, into the pipes and eventually into the basement of the shop where he finds and writes 37 violations, effectively shutting down the shop. To save Ember's Family Store and save Fire Town, the two elements must team up and manage to find an unexpected friendship along the way.

Lewis and Athie are well-cast as the lead characters.  They each have a unique resonance to their voices that lull the audience into a sense of calm and peace even when they are agitated or upset.  They give their characters personalities that complement the way they are drawn in animation.  Additional voice talent including Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) and Catherine O'Hara (Best in Show) support Lewis and Athie and add to the overall feel of the film. 

Director Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur) does a wonderful job balancing the various messages encapsulated in the story while keeping the pacing moving along.  He doesn't take risks with varying angles which, while it would have made the film more interesting, may have been confusing for younger audiences.  The character animation is rather simplistic and uninspiring but the colors of Element City are beautiful and pop.  Between the visuals and the cute-looking characters, children will surely enjoy watching the film. 

Elemental breaks down some difficult messages by making everything fun so you don't even realize the messages are there.  Of course, there is the unlikely friendship between Ember and Wade...fire and water... that proves we should all try to get along despite our differences as we never know what someone will be able to teach us.  Then there is the idea of sacrificing one's dreams for family responsibilities and the pressure that comes along with those responsibilities, even if you don't know what your dreams truly are yet.

Elemental is a perfectly fun, family-friendly film that kids will love and parents will be surprised to find out they will enjoy it too.  Great messages, some adventure, some humor, and a bit of romance abound throughout the script, making Elemental one of Pixar's best movies to date. 

I recommend splurging for the 3-D screening as it will increase the fun and intensity of the movie.  It will be difficult to walk out of the theater with a scowl on one's face.

Grade: B+


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 103 minutes
Distributed By: Walt Disney Pictures

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For more information about Elemental visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Elemental images are courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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