When it comes to animation, Pixar has rapidly grown to become one of the biggest names in the movie industry. However, in line with this, the brand’s focus on continually creating new content is something that never wavers – and not all will necessarily reach the same exceptionally high standards set out by franchises such as Toy Story.
However, for Pixar’s latest film, Elemental, the response is undoubtedly looking like more of a mixed bag than the brand might have wanted. Indeed, while the reviews seem to generally praise the concept of the film, the actual execution seems to leave something to be desired. As such, it will be interesting to see, going forward, how the film performs in terms of the general public’s perception, too.
What is Elemental?
Before looking any further, it’s worth taking a step back momentarily to look at what Elemental actually is. The premise of the film, on the surface, seems to be relatively simple: in a city comprised solely of anthropomorphic elements (fire, earth, water, and air), two individuals of the most opposing elements meet up and fall in love – and discover how much they have in common through the process.
The film was directed by Peter Sohn, who also worked on The Good Dinosaur in 2015; considering the earlier film made over three hundred and thirty million on a budget of around half that, it’s safe to say that Sohn knows his way around animation movies.
Considering that Elemental has a roughly similar budget, it’s hoped that the film will make a positive impact on critics and audiences – but early feedback from the Cannes first screening is a little less optimistic.
Critics’ Thoughts on the Film
While the general consensus so far has been positive for the film, praising it for its unique world-building that’s certainly a step away from the norm, critics seem to be somewhat on the fence about its overall message and story.
However, the exact stance on whether the film goes into too much or not enough worldbuilding isn’t a consensus; for example, James Mottran from TotalFilm stated that “No doubt, there’s a lot to like about Elemental, but you’re left wishing it had pushed further and deeper, rather than just tentatively exploring its themes.”
In direct contrast to this, Peter Debruge from Variety expresses concerns that “Elemental is so elaborate and calls for so much exposition that the briskly paced movie is still trying to shoehorn essential backstory into the film’s final reel.”
Some minor concerns seem to have also been raised regarding a handful of potential plot inconsistencies. Nevertheless, with the story itself originally being inspired by Sohn’s own experiences as the son of immigrant parents, the tale will hopefully help foster a more inclusive and supportive mindset among the next generation of viewers.
And, even if it doesn’t quite reach the top lists for Pixar films, it’s generally still considered a good entry with a sweet message that doesn’t take too much effort to watch (and enjoy). And if there’s one thing people are generally agreeing on so far, it’s that the design and color schemes for the film are very well done.
While the initial reactions to Elemental’s first screening are mixed, elsewhere in the tech world, Nvidia is topping the $1 trillion market cap, showcasing a significant achievement.