The Teaser for Pixar’s Elemental Welcomes You to Element City

All aboard, and buckle up, because you’re about to have a lot of questions. The teaser for Pixar’s next film, Elemental, follows one of the movie’s two main characters as she boards a train for Element City. If you thought New York’s subways were full of colorful and varied characters, well, you’re right, but at least no one’s sneezes make your hair grow?

This is a terrible invasion of personal space.

The summary for Elemental is brief: it’s an “an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where fire-, water-, land- 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.”

Okay, but, like… how. How do fire people not catch things on fire? How do water people eat if that one person’s lipstick just starts floating in their face? How do plants, um, make baby plants?

I know, I know, I’m not supposed to ask questions, I’m just supposed to go with Pixar’s flow, but the design on this one is making it very difficult. The concept, though, has a sweet origin story; director Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur) told Entertainment Weekly that he was partly inspired by his parents, Korean immigrants who moved to New York before he was born. Sohn said:

“Growing up, I always saw my parents a certain way, but then when I hit my 20s and got a real job versus working at my family shop, I saw them as people … That shift from parents to people affected me a great deal. All the stories they told me of their journey here I took for granted until I was like, ‘Oh my God, they did this without speaking the language. They did this with no money. My dad was a hotdog cart guy and he made all this. I could never do that.’ My empathy grew for them.”

Elemental stars Leah Lewis as the hot-burning Ember and Mamoudou Athie as watery Wade. It’s in theaters June 16, 2023.

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