FILM REVIEW: Elemental
An under-the-radar release from Pixar, but deservedly so?
In a summer of underperforming blockbusters, beloved animation studio Pixar seems to be suffering a similar fate, their latest release Elemental going under the radar for many viewers. Deservedly so? Or is this a hidden gem that no one is seeing?
Set in a world where the population is made up of anthropomorphic elements of nature (i.e. water people, fire people, earth people, air people, etc.), fire girl Ember and water boy Wade meet and work to save her father’s shop from closure, forming a romance along the way despite their differences.
This is another gorgeous-looking Pixar movie, the world on screen brought to life with a lot of imagination. Like the characters, the buildings are made up of different elements and the sequence of the two leads floating through the city is like a pristine, high-definition screensaver. A few too many fire and water puns aside, this was a visually striking world to be in for 109 minutes.
The actual story of Ember and Wade on a cookie-crumb journey to save her father’s shop was quite dull, saved only by the two leads’ enjoyable romance. Once again, this is aided by the visuals, especially when the two touch for the first time, combining fire and water to make a feast for the eyes out of their differences.
The only thing is that this is pretty much just standard Pixar at this point, which is not bad, but it’s nowhere near as groundbreaking as it used to be. The differences between Ember and Wade are an obvious parallel for division amongst people, a harmless message but one that has been done before.
Elemental does what Pixar has done better in the past. Regardless, it is a sweet film with impressive visuals, an enjoyable romance, and a harmless enough message.