Pixar’s Elemental is the latest animated, heart-touching film by Disney. Using the motif of the four elements as different groups of people, Elemental explores themes involving the immigrant experience and learning to understand and communicate with other cultures.
For me, it was easy to identify with Leah Lewis’s character Ember Lumen as she has internalized a lot of pressure from her parents as they immigrated to Element City before she was born, dealt with xenophobia in their new home, and worked hard to forge a new home as well as a convenience store. But while Ember strives to be the ideal, dutiful daughter that would make her parents’ sacrifices well worth it, she has her own individual aspirations and is learning to come to terms with how to satisfy her parents as well as embracing her own desires in life.
Her hot-temperedness results in a broken water pipe that leads to a meet-cute with Mamoudou Athie’s character Wade Ripple, a water element health inspector. As Ember and Wade work together to save Ember’s family business, they get to know each other which brings to mind ideas about interracial relationships, not only romantic but even platonic as two people from different background who getting to know each other must keep an open mind about each other’s family dynamics.
The film does a fantastic job at portraying the nuances of being the child of immigrants and having to find that balance in tradition and individualism, especially with the pressure of seeing parents who sacrificed so much and feeling a debt that at times feels unpayable.
Realistic moments, impactful themes, and relatable characters aside, the film is a work of art as the sheer imagery of the elements and scenery as a visual delight for all. Being able to see all of the vivid scenes on as big a screen as possible makes Pixar’s Elemental a must-see in theaters.
Another aspect worth noting is the soundtrack which includes the song “Steal the Show” by Lauv, which perfectly fits the mood of the film when Wade and Ember go on their first date.
All in all, the film is perfect for any situation whether you’re looking for a heartwarming date movie, something to watch with the family or a big group, or even solo on a self-date type of day. Catch Pixar’s Elemental in theaters now!
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