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‘Elemental’ Teaser Introduces Pixar’s Most Fiery Protagonist

"Elemental" is set to release in theaters June 16, 2023.

Elemental

Disney

The first teaser for “Elemental,” Pixar’s first upcoming animated romantic comedy, was released on Thursday.

Like many Pixar films, “Elemental” imagines a society where non-human beings live and work together. The movie is set in Element City, where beings made of the classical four elements — water, earth, fire, and air — coexist in a world otherwise very much like the modern day.

The main character Ember (Leah Lewis) is a tough, sharp-witted young woman made of fire, who meets and develops a friendship with her polar opposite in both element and personality: the laid-back and sentimental Wade (Mamoudou Athie), a young man made of water. Their friendship, which is challenged by the fact that literally touching Wade hurts Ember, causes her to reconsider her beliefs about the world. The teaser shows their meet-cute, so to speak, where they both reach to grab Ember’s headphones after she drops them in a crowded train car. The teaser also reveals some of the character designs for the denizens of Element City, with kids made of clouds and wind and grassy people with trees and flowers growing out of their bodies populating the frame.

“Elemental” is directed by Peter Sohn, who has worked at Pixar since 2003 when he was a story and production artist for “Finding Nemo.” After working as an animator for “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Wall-E,” and “Up,” he was promoted to Pixar’s senior creative team in 2013, and made his directorial debut with 2015’s “The Good Dinosaur.” In a presentation of footage from the film at the D23 Expo in September, Sohn said that the film was inspired by the love story of his parents, who immigrated to New York from Korea in the ’70s. Denise Ream serves as the producer on the film.

“Elemental” releases in theaters June 16, 2023. It will notably be the first original Pixar film to receive a theatrical release since 2020’s “Onward,” after Disney choose to release “Soul,” “Luca,” and this year’s “Turning Red” exclusively on Disney+. “Lightyear,” a “Toy Story” spinoff that saw Sohn voice the robotic cat Sox, premiered in theaters this June.

Other upcoming Pixar projects include “Elio,” starring America Ferrera, and a sequel to 2015’s “Inside Out.” Both of those films release in 2024. Watch the full teaser for “Elemental” below.

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