Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental” opens on Friday, June 16th. I had the opportunity to catch an early screening with my family and I’m happy to say that the movie was a hit with all of us!
The movie features Ember (voiced by actress Leah Lewis) and her parents, Bernie (voiced by Ronnie Del Carmen) and Cinder (voice actress Shila Ommi). Ember is a second-generation immigrant—only her parents emigrated from Fireland to Element City where Ember is born and raised. “She goes on a journey of understanding her own identity and,” says director Peter Sohn, “with that, the meaning of what her parents have given her.
Ember develops an unlikely friendship with a water guy named Wade. Over the course of the movie, we see them get closer, as they bond over the situation with Ember’s dad’s shop.
The film is set in a city that brings elements of different backgrounds together – Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Not only is it a comedy, but it’s a story about relationships between child and parents, between neighbors and community members that look different from us. I knew from the trailer that there was a romantic comedy angle but was surprised by how much the film was shaped by the immigrant experience, showcasing various microaggression between elements, as Ember and her parents are treated differently by the elements who make up Element City.
“Elemental” is an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where Fire-, Water-, Earth- and Air-residents live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. Directed by Peter Sohn, produced by Denise Ream, p.g.a., and executive produced by Pete Docter, “Elemental” features a screenplay by John Hoberg & Kat Likkel and Brenda Hsueh with story by Sohn, Hoberg & Likkel and Hsueh. The film’s original score was composed and conducted by Thomas Newman.
The movie clocks in at 1 hour and 43 minutes. I felt that the pacing was fine for me and my family, but for younger kids who are used to action sequence after action sequence, it may be a tad slow for them. However, you should take note that the movie is rated PG for thematic elements, some peril and brief language. These are MPAA’s words, not mine.
I’m not exactly sure what thematic elements would warrant a PG but maybe it’s the romance angle. Some of the dialogue between Wade and Ember sounds like it’s from a teen romance like “To All the Boys” or “Never Have I Ever.” Maybe not exactly, but you get the idea. Also, one of the characters says the phrase “hanky panky” which if you’re not ready to explain that to your 6-year-old, then that could be a reason for the PG rating.
Overall I found the movie entertaining. It’s a cute rom-com mixed with a mild message about how we should embrace our differences and accept one another. More often than not we are more alike than we are different and that’s an idea that we can all get behind, no matter what our age.
To celebrate the release of “Elemental”, here’s a FREE activity packet that’s filled with games and fun facts that you can download for your family! Click this link to view and print out the PDF.
You’ll want to make sure you arrive on time for the movie because releasing in front of “Elemental” is “Carl’s Date,” a new short that catches up with Carl (voiced by the late Ed Asner) and his lovable talking dog, Dug (voice of Bob Peterson). For all those who watched AND loved Pixar’s film “Up,” you’ll be happy to see this as it closes the chapter on this story.
One thing that people always ask me with Disney movies (and lately with all movies in general) is if there is an end-credit scene. Elemental doesn’t have a post-credit scene, but you do get to hear the new song “Steal the Show” while the credits roll. You can hear a snippet of it here and personally I really like it and am ready to declare it the song of the summer.
“Elemental” opens in theaters Friday, June 16.
“Elemental” is rated PG.
Visit the official movie website here for more information.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended an advanced screening of the movie which helped facilitate this review. Images shown in this post are used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.