June 24, 2024

Disney and Pixar’s Elemental fights its own status quo

On June 16, 2023, Pixar released a movie titled “Elemental.” “Elemental” is based on characters with four different elements: Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. In the movie, all the elements can coexist in a city together called Element City. The city is surrounded by trains that ride on top of water and cater to only the elements of Earth, Water, and Air.

The story begins with two fire elements named Bernie and Cinder, who had to leave their home due to a huge storm damaging their house. They traveled to find a safe place to build their family and decided to journey into Element City. Finding a place to live was challenging in Element City because everyone in the city saw fire as a social outcast, reflecting a relatable theme in a world of chaos. Many ways in the world can make you feel like an outcast.

The main character, Ember, only wants to make her father proud because of his hard work for their family. Throughout the movie, she believes the only way to achieve this is to take over her father’s shop. To do so, she must control her temper around customers and learn tasks in a timely manner. She thought taking over the shop was the way to make her father proud, but that wasn’t the true purpose of Elemental. The movie emphasizes accepting change and adapting to it in a challenging world. Ember’s father encourages her to follow her dreams, a sentiment I can relate to as I have two loving parents who want me to pursue my goals.

In the movie, Ember’s Dad Bernie states, “Nobody waters down fire.” This quote resonates because, no matter how different you are from the world, you should keep fighting to succeed and shining your light. Ember also falls in love with a different element than her own, water, in a society where she was only supposed to be around fire. She falls for Wade Ripple, a city inspector who met Ember when he was sucked into a leak in her father’s shop’s water pipes. Wade faces non-acceptance from Ember’s family because her father does not like water. This mirrors real-life challenges where people hold grudges or judge others based on race, beliefs, or differences.

Ember and Wade fall in love but resist, believing they could never be close due to their elemental differences. In the movie, everyone says “elements don’t mix.” However, the protagonist challenges this notion, asserting that differences make connections between people stronger. Differences teach us different perspectives gained through life experiences.