Last month, Pixar finally dropped their first pandemic era in-theater release, Lightyear. This marks a return after a nearly 2 year hiatus since the 2020 film Onward. While Lightyear hasn’t been going “to infinity and beyond” with critics, this hasn’t discouraged Pixar from moving, well, onward.
Pixar’s 27th feature film, Elemental, is set in a city where fire, water, land, and air residents live together, and follows Ember and Wade, a fiery young woman and go-with-the-flow guy who, while exact opposites, find a way to meet at common ground.
Directed by Peter Sohn (Finding Nemo, The Good Dinosaur, Up, Monsters University) and Denise Ream (Toy Story 4, The Good Dinosaur, Up, Cars 2), this film was inspired by Sohn’s childhood in New York.
“My parents emigrated from Korea in the early 1970s and built a bustling grocery store in the Bronx. We were among many families who ventured to a new land with hopes and dreams—all of us mixing into one big salad bowl of cultures, languages and beautiful little neighborhoods. That’s what led me to Elemental. Our story is based on the classic elements—fire, water, land and air. Some elements mix with each other, and some don’t. What if these elements were alive?”
The film is slated to hit theaters on June 16, 2023, but with the poor performance of Lightyear and the stellar performance of Turning Red (which went directly to Disney+), it’s hard to say where the newest Pixar project will end up.
Pixar employees have already expressed their frustration with having to work long hours just to have their work go to the modern version of “direct-to-video.” An anonymous Pixar employee commented to Insider about their concerns saying, “It’s safe to say that we’re all feeling extremely disappointed.” Another one commented, “Until today, we all thought Turning Red would be our return to the big screen, and everyone at the studio was so excited about it being this film in particular. It was quite a blow.”
In case you want to check out other Pixar pieces that really reflect on the world we live in, give Soul a watch. Does it remind you of your barbershop?
Photo via Pixar