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Recommended age 5-12
103 minutes
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I absolutely love the movie Elemental! It shares an uplifting message that's perfect for the younger generation. The animation is visually captivating, too. The whole concept and plot of the film (and the forbidden love story) is very clever and well-written.

The film takes us on the journey of a girl from the fire side of Element City meeting a guy from the water side. They try their best to solve a serious problem without conversing much. Who knows what happens when fire and water mix?

The main characters are Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis), Wade (Mamoudou Athie), Gale Cumulus (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Cinder (Sheila Vosough), Bernie (Ronnie del Carmen), Brook Ripple (Catherine O'Hara) and Alan Ripple (Matthew Yang King). The fire people usually stay away from all the other elements, so when Wade starts conversing with Ember, her parents don't approve. Wade could extinguish Ember, and Ember could make Wade evaporate. All in all, it's not a good mix. The concept of water and fire mixing is so clever and I applaud Pixar / Disney for this new idea. It represents everyone's differences and the idea that each element is special. Also, Ember learns to control her anger issues, which is a lesson many people can learn from. This movie appeals to me visually as well as emotionally. The animation is incredible and it looks realistic even for being animated. Element City is beautiful and looks like a futuristic city. I felt like I was in the city with them while watching it. There's a drastic change between the city and Ember's hometown solely for fire people. I like the sets and how they relate to the elements. For instance, Wade's house is mostly underwater, while other elements in the city live in trees. My favorite part of the film is when Wade starts the wave at the air basketball game they're watching. All the water residents turn into an actual wave! All these pieces come together to make the movie entertaining, emotional, funny and captivating.

The film's message is to follow your dreams and ignite your passions. It encourages others to do what they want to do with their life, rather than doing what other people ask them to do. In other words, be true to yourself. It also celebrates everyone's differences.

I give Elemental 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18. It releases in theaters June 16, 2023 and is expected to start streaming on Disney+ shortly thereafter.

By Sydney S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Elemental has so many wonderful 'elements,' such as its detailed animation, playful voice-acting, and hilarious lines.

The storyline is about Ember (Leah Lewis), a girl who has lived in Firetown in Element City her entire life and dreams of one day taking over the family shop, run by her father (Ronnie Del Carmen). When a city inspector, Wade (Mamoudou Athie) bursts through the pipes under the shop he notices many violations in the shop and threatens to send notes of these violations to the city. Ember chases him throughout the city to get the notes back but it's too late. After hearing her story he decides to help her, and the two eventually develop a bond. But can fire and water ever be together?

The best thing about this film is the intricate detail put into every bit of animation. The city has so many different parts and the animation provides a look into every nook and cranny. Also, there are many element-related puns in every scene. This attention to detail and creativity is seen everywhere, but I particularly noticed it in the scene where Wade and Ember go to an air ball playoff game. From the team names to the game itself everything is so well crafted. Leah Lewis has so much emotion as Ember and her personality really shines throughout the film. The chemistry between Wade and Ember is remarkable for an animated film. We only hear their voices but the two voice-actors work so well together. My favorite part of Elemental is the scene where Ember and Wade try to touch for the first time. They don't exactly know what is going to happen since they are fire and water so the audience is left in anticipation.

The theme of Elemental is that differences shouldn't separate people, and you should not judge somebody because of theirs. Throughout the film grudges are held against Ember due to her being from Firetown. Water and fire are not allowed to be together, but the love Wade and Ember share overcomes the differences that were supposed to keep them apart.

I give Elemental 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18 plus adults. It releases in theatres June 16, 2023.

By Kendall B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Elemental is a beautiful animated film that fills the screen with color and excitement and is a great viewing experience for audiences of all ages. The animation is definitely the highlight of the film; the plot leaves a little to be desired.

Elemental tells the story of Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis), a fire element who lives in the Element City, where water, land, fire and air residents live together. Ember lives in the fire neighborhood and hopes to take over her dad's fire shop, but her anger issues and inability to control her temper is standing in her way. One day, Ember meets Wade (Mamoudou Athie), a water element who tries to shut down her dad's business. After convincing Wade by explaining what the business means to her family, Wade tries to help her; only it's too late since the paperwork has already been sent to his boss. Wade and Ember must work together to save her dad's business, and along the way, they discover more than they ever knew was possible.

Elemental is a beautiful film to watch. The animated creation of Elemental is incredible; every scene is filled with vibrant colors. I love all the elements that they incorporate into the city's design, especially with the multi-cultural neighborhoods like those that you would find in an actual city. The character animation is also great, especially with Ember; it is fascinating to see her flames become brighter and change shape depending on the weather. My favorite scene of the movie is the one underwater, as those visuals are the best in the film. However, the plot leaves a little to be desired. There are a lot of conflicts that are fixed quickly, so none of them feel that significant. Although I love Wade and Ember together, it is a little confusing since it is shown multiple times that water and fire shouldn't touch, so it feels counterintuitive to what is being stated in the film. Gale Cumulus (Wendi McLendon-Covey) is very funny and I loved watching her and wanted more. Also, Clod (Mason Wertheimer) is absolutely adorable; it was nice watching other elements to see how they operate, not just fire and water. My favorite relationship in the film is between Ember and her father (Ronnie del Carmen) -- it was heartwarming to see the respect the two have for each other and the love they share.

Elemental conveys the message of family, respect and loving others. It also has underlying messages of not discriminating against others, which is important in a world where some people are not always treated fairly.

I give Elemental 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 12, plus adults. It releases in theaters on June 16, 2023.

Emma D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16 \

see youth comments
Disney and Pixar's "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. The voice cast includes Leah Lewis as the fiery Ember; Mamoudou Athie as the water-guy Wade; Ronnie del Carmen as Ember's soon-to-be retired dad, Bernie; Shila Ommi as Ember's love-seeking mom, Cinder; Wendi McLendon-Covey as Wade's stormy and Air-Ball-loving boss, Gale; Catherine O'Hara as Wade's welcoming mom, Brook; Mason Wertheimer as Ember's admiring neighbor, Clod; and Joe Pera as an overgrown city bureaucrat, Fern.
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