It has quite literally been 84 years since I last thought about typing anything for my blog but there have been movies that have really spurred me to want to attempt to write something but this movie tipped me over the edge and here we are! I’m excited to have somewhere to express my thoughts and feelings! Before we start though I want just say that I am so happy that Disney and Pixar decided to release this in theaters. Turning Red and Luca (and even Soul for that matter) all deserved to be seen in a theater and to relegate these movies to Disney Plus releases had to have been total slaps in the faces for everyone involved. For everyone involved in then creation of those incredible feature films I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Elemental took me and I’m sure a lot of others by surprise and went straight for my heart. At the very heart of the movie and what really makes this movie work are the endearing characters and the very talented voice cast behind them. Most of the roles have been cast with relatively unknown actors which I think was nice! Leah Lewis voices Ember Lumen and Mamoudou Athie voices Wade Ripple. They are polar opposites in most ways but that is exactly what brings them together in the end. The animated couple has more chemistry than a lot of actors do in romantic comedies today! Thee a few well-known vets in the supporting cast that make this as enjoyable as it is. Both Catherine O’Hara and Wendy McClendon-Covey are splendid in their small roles. I also loved the main protagonist’s parents and obviously don’t think the movie would work without them!
Now, I have seen some say it’s just Pixar’s version of Zootopia and it really could be far from the truth. This is honestly mostly a romantic comedy and I think that’s why it worked so well for me. I’m a sucker for good romcom! It’s not necessarily a slow burn but it takes a while for the two to come together and once they finally do it’s some of the best moments of any Pixar movie.. to me. The film also serves as a pretty good social commentary about immigrants and their story and that’s what takes it to the next level for me. To have that kind of representation and for people to see these stories on the big screen I’m sure is very special. It runs a pretty quick pace and doesn’t really every let up which might be one of its downfalls. Maybe the plot is a bit rushed and maybe it could’ve been longer to flesh out some of the parts that needed it but it works fine for me. And those people saying it’s rushed would just complain about it being overlong. I’m perfectly happy with its ending and would say that I’d be okay with a sequel which is not something I say lightly.
With so many animated movies really raising the bar in recent years it’s to be expected that some were worried about how its animation would size up to the likes of Into the Spiderverse and Netflix’s Klaus just to name a few but in true Pixar form it showed up and showed out. First of all, the world-building that was done for this film is absolutely phenomenal. I loved the different designs for each element’s area of Element City. The way they have breathed life into these elements is just incredible and to see it done so beautifully and fluidly is mind-blowing. The visuals are are certainly aided by its score from Thomas Newman. Each scene is elevated by its piece of score and there’s even a sequence that is set to the movie’s “theme” song and it works SO well.
I think that this one of the most sincere and fresh films from Pixar as of recent and could very well be my favorite of their most recent releases! There are certain things that are probably not going to work for some folks and the comedy isn’t for everybody but there’s something for everyone in Elemental. Please take your kids or your significant other to see this because it really deserves an audience. I wish the marketing behind this film had been better because it’s not going to do the numbers that studio execs really count on. If we’re not going to the movie theaters to see this.. then no one better complain when they plan on releasing Toy Story in live action and siz more sequels to Frozen.
Reed’s Rating: 9.5/10