Thematically, Pixar’s Elemental, from director Peter Sohn, might not seem like the studio’s most imaginative animated feature. But if the movie’s first full trailer is any indication, Elemental’s going to be a mesmerizing visual feat.
Elemental tells the story of Ember Lumen (Leah Lewis) and Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie), two of the countless citizens who call a sprawling megacity teeming with other elemental beings like them home. With Ember living among her fellow fire people (think Howl’s Moving Castle’s Calcifer) and Wade keeping mostly to his fellow water folk (think Osmosis Jones but drippier), they never expected to meet one another, let alone begin to fall in love. But after a chance encounter, the mismatched pair can’t deny that there’s something between them, and Elemental’s trailer touches on the many different ways Wade and Ember are going to be reminded that their feelings for one another raise quite a few eyebrows.
It’s tough to say whether Elemental’s take on beats from Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner will land with audiences, especially considering how some of its characters seem prone to destroying one another simply because of how their physical forms interact. But the movie’s visuals are as imaginative as they are delightful, and it’s very easy to imagine Elemental’s aesthetics alone making it an instant classic.
Elemental hits theaters on June 16th.