Elemental couple art. Image: Disney Pixar.

Things We Saw Today: Pixar Reveals Art, Synopsis of Summer 2023 Movie ‘Elemental’

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Today, Disney Pixar announced its 27th film, Elemental, is coming on June 16, 2023 (almost exactly one year after this summer’s Lightyear). Directed by Peter Sohn (The Good Dinosaur and Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) and produced by Denise Ream (The Good Dinosaur and Cars 2), the movie follows “an unlikely pair, Ember and Wade, in a city where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together.” In a statement obtained by Variety, Sohn stated that this movie takes inspiration from his childhood home in New York City.

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My parents emigrated from Korea in the early 1970s and built a bustling grocery store in the Bronx,” he said in a statement. “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?

Elemental logo. Image: Disney Pixar.

I’m probably (just in this case) over-analyzing, but the logo looks like it could play with the concept of how differing groups interact, seeing how the colors blend together. Speaking of differences and cross-cultural exchange, this isn’t the first Pixar movie to explore this in a metropolitan setting. Zootopia had a similar (albeit with more copaganda) scenario.

Let’s do better this time.

Elemental couple art. Image: Disney Pixar.

One part of the official synopsis reads, “The fiery young woman and the go-with-the-flow guy are about to discover something elemental: how much they actually have in common.” I hope that they take the best parts of Zootopia, but better and with a more diverse cast reflective of working-class New York City. I know this is probably already cast, and we’ll get the news for that soon. However, since I’m making a totally-within-Pixar’s-means wishlist, I hope they went with identity-conscious casting over racially agnostic casting alone—taking the identity of the roles into account to avoid stereotypes. I am staying positive, though.

(via Variety, image Pixar)

Here are some other bits of news we saw today:

  • Kevin Bacon will star in the so-called “conversion therapy camp” horror film They/Them coming later in the summer. (via PinkNews)
  • Jaelynn of Art in Color explores the artwork of Rupy C. Tut. (via Art in Color on Youtube)
  • The Pentagon and more are unsure how much they can charge in upcoming Congressional hearing on UFOs. (via Politico)
  • Amy’s Kitchen was forced to pay tens of thousands in OSHA violations and union-busting penalties for mistreating predominantly women of color on staff. (via The American Prospect)

What did you see out there today?

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Image of Alyssa Shotwell
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.