"Positive Themes Marred by Light Identity Politics and Brief Woke Content"


What You Need To Know:

ELEMENTAL is an animated fantasy from Pixar and Disney. The story takes place in Element City where water, fire, land, and air people live together, but not always peacefully. Ember, an adult female fire creature, is set to take over her father’s business when he retires. However, he keeps postponing his retirement because she can’t control her temper. One day, her temper causes a young water person and city inspector to report her to his boss. She convinces him, however, to help her keep the store open. This leads to unexpected consequences, not the least of which is that Wade and Ember are falling in love.

ELEMENTAL tells a funny, charming, ultimately heartwarming story. The story stresses several moral, redemptive themes like overcoming prejudice, family, owning a business, and sacrifice. There’s also a heartwarming resolution to the conflict between Ember and her father. However, the movie alludes to identity politics. Also, although the movie features four major heterosexual couples, Wade’s sister has a girlfriend. Finally, Ember’s mother is a fortune teller who specializes in matchmaking. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for ELEMENTAL.


(BB, PP, CapCap, C, Ro, PC, Ho, O, V, S, N, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Moral worldview contains a main theme about overcoming prejudice and leaning toward a traditional melting pot message, with a strong and emotional father-daughter story, reference to an act of God, strong pro-capitalist messages, and an emotional redemptive situation where sacrifice, death and resurrection occurs, but marred by some Romantic ideals about following your personal dream, by some politically correct identity politics, and by references to a same-sex female couple that shows up in a family dinner scene (other couples are heterosexual, however), and some occult references where the female lead’s mother does psychic readings for potential lovers in her fortune telling shop

Foul Language:
No foul language

Some violence such as water creatures can damage parts of the bodies of fire creatures, but the fire creatures can restore their body parts by eating pieces of kindling, fire creatures cause water creatures to boil and start to evaporate, a massive flood endangers the Firetown and its people, air creatures play a rough game in the air similar to basketball, pipes start to burst and flood basement, the lead fire creature has problems controlling her temper and sets objects on fire, a fire creature on an elevated train sneezes and accidentally burns up all the leaves and branches on a tree person, a water character seems to evaporate totally and die

There are three married heterosexual couples in the story, and two heterosexual boyfriend/girlfriend situations, but, although the romantic male lead has a brother who’s married to a female, his sister brings her “girlfriend” to a family dinner to meet the romantic female lead character (they don’t say or do much during the dinner and they don’t appear when the parents and the brother say goodbye to the son), plus at least one same-sex couple briefly appears in a crowd scene, and a character mentions that he and his wife can enjoy more “hanky-panky” because their adult child is moving out of the house

Upper male nudity when the romantic male lead takes off his shirt

Alcohol Use:
No alcohol use

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Prejudice occurs between four different kinds of fantasy creatures but this is mostly gently rebuked, despite some indications of identity politics, and some tension develops between the father and daughter, but it’s resolved positively in the emotional ending.

More Detail:

ELEMENTAL is an animated fantasy from Pixar and Disney about a young adult female fire creature who becomes romantically involved with the young adult male water creature and city inspector who tries to help her stop the city from closing down her father’s shop. Set in a city where fire, water, land, and air residents live together, ELEMENTAL tells a fun, heartwarming story about family and overcoming prejudice, but the movie sometimes veers into identity politics and woke memes, including a same-sex couple that appears in one important scene, but there are five other couples who are heterosexual, with three of them being married.

Most of the story takes place in Element City where fire, water, land, and air residents live together, but not always peacefully. Years ago, a fire couple came to the city after their village was decimated by a storm. The immigration official couldn’t pronounce their names, so he named them Bernie and Cinder. Bernie started a business of fire candy, toys and doodads called The Fireplace. He hopes that, one day, he can retire and his daughter, Ember, can take over the business.

However, there’s a problem. Ember has a terrible temper. So, Bernie has postponed his retirement until she can control her temper. Sadly, though, running the business is beginning to take a toll on his health. So, when it comes time to have their annual Red Dot Sale, Bernie is too sick to run the shop, and he lets Ember take over for the day.

However, dealing with all the demanding customers becomes too tense for Ember. She runs down to the basement to vent her anger and causes a small explosion. The explosion bursts one of the water pipes. She tries to fix it by welding the hole with her fire, but pressure builds up and causes more pipes to burst. From one of the burst pipes comes a city building inspector, a conscientious water creature named Wade. He was following a mysterious leak in the city’s water transportation system when he was led to the store’s basement. When he looks around the basement, he notices all sorts of code violations. He also finds out that Ember’s father never got the necessary permits to fix up the building to start his store. Because of all these violations, the city will have to close down her father’s shop.

Ember desperately tries to convince Wade to tear up the tickets. However, he’s already sent them to his boss, a no-nonsense female bureaucrat. However, Ember appeals to Wade’s compassion, saying that closing down the shop will kill her father. Wade agrees to help her plead her case.

This leads to some unexpected consequences, not the least of which is that Wade and Ember are falling in love. Can they find a way to make that work, since Wade’s water can extinguish Ember’s fire and Ember’s hot flames can cause Wade to totally evaporate?

ELEMENTAL tells a funny, charming, ultimately heartwarming story. It displays Pixar’s usual knack for creating and building an amazing world with surprising, funny situations. The movie contains a main theme about overcoming prejudice. As such, it seems to learn toward a traditional Pro-American message that we live in a melting pot where diverse groups of people share a common culture with common values. ELEMENTAL also tells a strong father-daughter story at its core. It also has strong pro-capitalist leanings where the creatures build small businesses, including family-run businesses, and also use their talents to serve the community and specific people within the community. The movie also has a reference to acts of God and an emotional situation where a symbolic sacrifice, death and resurrection occur.

Sadly, these positive things are marred by some politically correct identity politics and a woke meme. Thus, ELEMENTAL not only argues for overcoming prejudice; it also argues for diversity among the four kinds of creatures that exist in the world. Also, when Ember visits Wade’s family for dinner, his parents are two heterosexual water people, his brother is married to a female water person, but his sister has a girlfriend. The two lesbian characters don’t do or say much, but they’re clearly a politically correct nod to tyrannical woke politics. In addition, at least one crowd scene during the movie shows one same-sex couple. Finally, Ember’s mother is a psychic who runs a personal fortune telling business that concentrates on using occult means to be a matchmaking service for people in Element City.

The woke, occult content in ELEMENTAL is gratuitous. It adds nothing to the story and will annoy many family moviegoers who don’t want their children exposed to such content. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

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