Onto the next release of the weekend and I have finished watching the new English animation film, Elemental which is now playing at a theatre near you. The year 2023 marks the 100th year of Disney and over the years, the studio has grown from strength to strength in delivering heartwarming animation films backed with music, smile and tears along with a little takeaway in the form of a message. These films did have a special place in my heart in my impressionable years, and I have realised that I still enjoy the genre a lot!
Over the years, there have been two streams of films from Disney. One is the live animation films like The Little Mermaid(essentially recreating the yesteryear classics) which I am not a big fan of admittedly, and secondly the animation films in partnership with Pixar which are my absolute favourites. As far as Elemental was concerned, I was bowled over by the concept itself(and I am the happiest that Disney has been forraying in different concepts while still keeping their values in check). So then does Elemental manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Elemental follows the story of a place where all elementals, namely fire, water, air and land live together, with each element being fictionalized as people. The conflict is a budding love story between people of two elementals whose communities do not get along well. Will love win at the end of the day? The story is a winner at its concept level, and it formulates for one of the most beautiful and magical love stories this year. The screenplay standing at just above 90 odd minutes does make for a brisk watch with a number of heartwarming moments that will make your heart melt in typical Disney style!
The drama does open with the introduction of a family from the fire elemental group who shift to a new ‘Not-So-Welcoming’ city for better prospects and life. They are shown to be eventually settled and raising a family, wherein the first of the two protagonists is introduced – a young fiery girl who has temper issues and is always impatient. Soon, she is acquainted with a young man from the water elementals, a cool, calm and quietly charming yet ultra emotional person. And instantly, it does strike you that they form a fire and ice combination together, firstly by starting off on the wrong foot to ultimately taking a liking for each other. But is it even a love story without any obstacles?
The proceedings are beautifully crafted and makes for a surreal fantasy for the ages. The writers do create several heartwarming moments that gently tug the strings of your heart, wherein I found myself being invested in the journey of the two protagonists. But more importantly, the characterization of the two individuals was so well written. Both were two incomplete souls, and together they did form the most beautiful bond ever. The guy always made his sweetheart feel special, even when they did have fights, and that really did trickle a tear down my cheek. But the writers also use this drama as a clever metaphor on how love is divided based on religion and caste, with the reference being of the two clans here of Fire and Water.
The subplots around the main plotline also was quite well penned. They did formulate for a well supported final act that was symbolic of so many emotions. And is it even a Disney film if it doesn’t make you cry. The final turn of events are layered in an otherwise predictable drama that will make your heart melt. Overall, the screenplay is wonderfully penned and I did like how the brilliant concept was backed by the trademark Disney emotions.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are extremely well written and they perfectly back the drama which is unfolding. The music is beautiful and elevates the sentiments in the drama at several instances. The BGM is wonderful as well, blending so well with the drama. The animation is top notch and I did like how the basic characteristics of the various elementals were captured through the drama. The moments of reaction between the elementals was beautifully portrayed. The editing is sharp and crisp. Director Peter Sohn does a wonderful job with this fresh new concept while keeping the typical Disney emotions and values intact. The direction was exceptional here.
The voiceovers are excellent here. Shila Ommi as the voice of Cinder was quite good. Ronnie Del Carmen as the voice of Bernie was exceptional and added substance to his character. Mamoudou Athie as the voice of Wade Ripple was heartfelt and quite affable that made the character just so likable. Leah Lewis as the voice of Ember was brilliant to the core and she added a lot of fire to her character through her voiceover.
Elementals is the most beautiful and magical love story that you will see all year, a drama that makes for such a heartfelt watch. Available in a theatre near you and Highly Recommended!