Movie review: Pixar’s ‘Elemental’ won’t set the world on fire, but it holds water

June 14, 2023  -Pixar’s “Elemental” conjures a diverse metropolis where the elements — fire, water, earth and air — live like ethnicities mostly ghettoized from one other. For fire and water, especially, mingling can be combustible. A bad splash could consume fire; a strong flame could evaporate water. This is the rare kids’ movie where subway rides are actually more fraught with danger than in the real world.

“Elemental” is the 27th Pixar feature and the second from longtime studio veteran Peter Sohn (“The Good Dinosaur”). But in many ways, it feels like a spiritual sequel to the Disney Animation release “Zootopia,” a likewise gleaming urban tower of anthropomorphized racial metaphors with occasional interactions with municipal bureaucracy.

In “Elemental,” Ember Lumen (voiced by Leah Lewis) is the daughter of immigrants from Fireland: Ernie (Ronnie Del Carmen) and Cinder (Shila Omni), both of whom were handed English names while passing through an Ellis Island-like customs entry.

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