I have watched this movie once. This was on .


In a city where fire, water, land and air residents live together, a fiery young woman and a go-with-the-flow guy will discover something elemental: how much they have in common.

Opposites react.



I didn't have high expectations going into the latest Pixar movie. The studio is renowned for its incredible animation paired with multi-layered and compelling storytelling and character development. From their beginnings, they championed original stories and experimented with high-concept movies such as Soul and Inside Out, yet more recently they've released a few sequels and movies based on existing characters. Thankfully, Elemental falls into the original experimental category.

The concept features characters based upon water, fire, earth and air, with each group having a very distinctive look and traits. We follow a fire family who has arrived in Element City and found housing in a very fire-centric part of the city.

We follow a character called Ember, the daughter of the family, as she works hard to please her father, control her temper and avoid the other elements who have shunned them. She eventually forms an unlikely friendship with a water element and they try to prove opposites do attract and fire and water can mix.

There are very obvious metaphors at play, with the immigrant family and segregation from the wider community being central to the story. There is the common trope of second-generation immigrants and their feelings of being trapped in pleasing their parents who have given up their homeland to provide a better life and follow their own dreams in a place they call home.

The heart of the movie is a love story between Ember and Wade and an obvious comparison is between Romeo and Juliet. These are two characters who are not only physically very incompatible but also seem to have contrasting personalities. Ember is indebted to her father and is self-assured but closed off with anger issues and Wade – who talks about losing his father – is timid, emotionally open and vulnerable; a reversal of stereotypical gender roles.

I didn't expect the movie to have as big of an impact on me as it did. Watching this with my four-year-old stirred a lot of thoughts and there were a few other themes that really knocked me unexpectedly. I hope Wade can teach my son that it is OK for men to cry…