Elemental Cannes Film Review

Movie Bunker Score:

Elemental: A Heart-Warming Pixar Film That Delivers

Pixar has once again captivated audiences with their newest original film, Elemental. As a subject-matter expert, I can confidently say that this heart-warming and moving film showcases Pixar’s ability to create beautiful and timely stories. With recent releases that were not as commercially successful or critically acclaimed as their previous works, Elemental had the opportunity to turn the tide. And boy, did it succeed. As the closing film of the Cannes Film Festival, Elemental not only met but exceeded all expectations.

The Story of Ember and Wade

The premise of Elemental is deceptively simple: elements do not mix. However, when fiery and hot-headed Ember Lumen encounters the empathic and compassionate water guy, Wade Ripple, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways. As these anthropomorphic elements get to know each other, their romance blossoms, and they begin to influence and grow alongside each other. Wade helps Ember control her temper and introduces her to a city she had avoided her whole life. Through this journey, Ember starts questioning the future her parents have mapped out for her, realizing that her dreams might not align with their expectations.

While the story may not be entirely groundbreaking, it is the characters that truly make Elemental stand out. The inhabitants of Element City contribute to the uniqueness of the setting, but it is Ember and Wade who steal the show. Their individuality and complexities make them compelling to watch. Notably, Wade’s character challenges toxic masculinity by showcasing his emotional vulnerability—an important example for children in today’s society.

Exploring Deeper Themes

Elemental delves into deeper themes beyond forbidden love or opposites attracting. It explores the significance of family and forging one’s own path in life. Inspired by the director’s own experience growing up in an immigrant family, Elemental paints a relatable picture for second-generation immigrants like Ember. She feels the weight of her parents’ sacrifices and confronts the racism experienced by fire elements in Elemental City. From childhood memories of being denied entry to exhibitions to being told she speaks clear English, Ember’s journey resonates with those who have faced similar challenges.

A World of Magic and Beauty

Pixar’s animation shines once again in Elemental, creating a breathtaking world filled with vibrant colors and magical landscapes. Elemental City comes alive on the screen, showcasing the four elements that exist in our everyday lives. From Firetown to the Cyclone Stadium, the attention to detail in the animation brings the city and its citizens to life. Coupled with Thomas Newman’s enchanting musical score, the film immerses the audience in an alluring atmosphere.

A Celebration of Representation

As both Pixar and Disney continue to prioritize representation in their animated films, Elemental stands as a shining example of the importance of diverse storytelling. Director Peter Sohn, in his debut feature film, shares a personal story that resonates universally. Ember’s struggles mirror those of many immigrant children, resonating with audiences who can finally see themselves represented on screen through Elemental’s powerful storytelling.

Elemental premiered at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and is set for a global theatrical release on June 16, 2023.


Pixar’s Elemental is a triumphant return to form, reminding audiences why the studio holds a special place in our hearts. With its compelling characters, exploration of deeper themes, breathtaking animation, and commitment to representation, Elemental captivates viewers of all ages. This heart-warming and timely film will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on those who experience its magic.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is Elemental suitable for all ages?

Yes, Elemental is a family-friendly film that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages. It offers a heart-warming story that resonates with both children and adults.

2. How does Elemental address the concept of toxic masculinity?

Elemental challenges toxic masculinity through the character of Wade, who openly expresses his emotions and isn’t afraid to show vulnerability. His portrayal breaks stereotypes and provides a positive example for children, promoting healthy emotional expression.

3. What makes Elemental’s animation stand out?

Elemental showcases Pixar’s exceptional craftsmanship in animation. From the vibrant colors to the intricate details of Elemental City, every frame feels alive, immersing the audience in a visually stunning world.

4. Does Elemental handle the theme of immigration effectively?

Yes, Elemental sensitively addresses the theme of immigration through Ember’s journey as a second-generation immigrant. It touches upon the sacrifices made by her parents and addresses the challenges and discrimination faced by immigrants in a relatable and thought-provoking manner.

5. How does Elemental contribute to Pixar’s legacy?

Elemental adds another memorable chapter to Pixar’s legacy by delivering a heart-warming and timely story. It continues the studio’s tradition of creating emotionally resonant films while pushing the boundaries of animation and storytelling.