Find out what is being said about Pixar’s latest animated film with our review round up….
The Guardian: *** “It’s a bit silly, a bit surreal, a bit simplistic, and lands itself with the problem of how to show Ember being sad (which she sometimes is) and Wade being passionate (which he also sometimes is). But this film is surely pitched at much younger kids than a comparable Pixar film such as Inside Out, in which the separate moods inside us all were represented by different characters.”
The Independent: *** “Elemental, their 27th movie, is gentle and humane but never raw or vulnerable.”
The Observer: *** “There are tonal parallels with Pixar’s Inside Out and Zootropolis, but while it has a peppy visual energy, Elemental lacks the wildly inventive storytelling of the former and the laughs of the latter.”
The FT: *** “Busy, zany and sincere, the movie does a perfectly good job with the stuff of urban culture clash (example: our heroine the only flame on a monorail). But it is also fatally unfunny, and gets more so with every weird contrivance it whips up. The result is like watching an overearnest entertainer at a birthday party: the harder they work, the more bored the kids look.”
Empire: *** “Where Elemental really sizzles is in its central pair’s chemistry (literally). Mamoudou Athie uses the full range of that extraordinary voice, evoking hysterics and sincerity with equal ease. He’s matched well by Leah Lewis, and together they provide what feels like Pixar’s first romcom, complete with awkward first dates and meeting the parents, all with an added layer of jeopardy around what would happen if they were to touch. Wade’s emotional depth and Ember’s relatable story make for a strong connection, and, once again, Pixar demonstrates its ability to hit you in the feels.”
The Telegraph: *** “Fire and water fall for each other in director Peter Sohn’s new animation, which bends its own self-inflicted rules but charms even so.”
IGN.com: “Visually, Pixar is in absolutely top form with the creation of Element City and its inhabitants. Unfortunately, the story is way too thin and none of it makes any sense. It’s hard to see young kids being too into this, and older ones – who can usually trust this company to not talk down to the audience – may get annoyed by the rote platitudes that feel like a lecture.”
Film Hounds Magazine: *** “Instead of Guess Who’s Flo0ding to Dinner, this fails to full embrace it’s ideas. That’s not to say the romance at it’s heart isn’t enjoyable. The hot headed Ember and the emotional Wade are likeable leads and it does help that they’re voiced very well but it becomes far from a classic. The animation is perfect, but the script is weak, and for a film like this the writing really needed to be much much sharper. It’s all a bit damp.”
Evening Standard: ** “Of course there are many cute moments, including a pre-pubescent tree proudly showing Ember his first armpit shoot, and the animation is, as you’d expect from Pixar, great and occasionally astounding; not to mention there’s a great score by Thomas Newman and a catchy theme. But instead of catching fire, this offering is just too much of a soggy mess.”
Paste Magazine.com: “Elemental may not rise to the heights that Up soared to, but the ingredients of Elemental combine in ways that are both satisfying and even moving. It’s a tonally challenging film to get right, and easily could have devolved into something either too straightforward or overly strident in its messaging. Instead, we’re granted a movie that rises and lowers in intensity, flowing along with a confident trajectory that speaks to larger issues without ever drowning in overt messaging.”
The Verge: “The wealth of imagination that’s on display as Elemental first introduces Elemental City — a sprawling metropolis filled with public transit waterways and open-air skyscrapers — is nothing short of astonishing and helps illustrate one of the movie’s more novel ideas. Because water, earth, and air people built Element City in tandem with one another, the movie explains, most everything about the city is designed to be accessible according to their unique needs. As the last group to immigrate to the city, though, fire people — whose bodies can be extinguished — are forced to live very different, ghettoized lives, and Elemental tries to make clear how that difficult truth is part of the reason Bernie is so distrustful of other elements — water especially.”
Elemental is out now in cinemas.