Elemental was a delight in theaters, but it’s even better on Disney+. Not only can you enjoy parts you missed, but the Good Chemistry making of special adds up to make this one of Pixar’s best efforts in years.
Elemental looked like it was sadly going to be Pixar’s biggest flop. The film had a lower-than-expected $26 million opening when it premiered in June. However, thanks to strong word of mouth and reviews, the movie has since grossed nearly half a billion dollars worldwide. Now, Disney+ gives people a chance to kick themselves for missing it in theaters.
The movie is more enjoyable at home
There’s a good reason why Pixar movies are so expensive. They pack in scores of rich, lush background details you may have missed the first time around in theaters. Thanks to Disney+, Elemental pops beautifully as you can enjoy the cityscapes and the little bits like posters, ads and other items. Some are fun to see with puns and jokes or the various signs for the sports game that show the case the animators put into it.
You can also appreciate the sheer beauty of the animation. Maybe it feels lesser on the small screen, but there’s still something magical about watching how the various elemental creatures blend and mix together. That’s often literally with the fire creatures turning into steam when meeting water or air. From the underwater voyage to the climactic flood, the animation making this world pop is stunning.
There’s also that terrific story as Ember (Leah Lewis) and Wade (Mamoudou Athie) carry on their romance, with Ember controlling her fiery temper and Wade’s laid-back attitude winning her over. The themes are obvious with overcoming the bigotry of their kind and Ember’s dad wanting her to carry on the family tradition.
Watching it at home allows viewers to admire this amazing work with so much care in the backgrounds, something only Pixar can pull off and why this film won over so many.
The making of special enhances the film
A great addition to watch alongside Elemental is Good Chemistry, an hour-long “making of” special. It focuses on director/co-writer Peter Sohn and shows how this movie was a work of love for him.
Sohn goes in-depth on his life as the son of immigrants who often faced prejudice, which clearly shaped the entire story. Sohn shares touches like how his mother got him into movies and he fell in love with animation from an old Disney flip book. He talks of his rise in Pixar, including voicing several characters like Sox in Lightyear. That convinced Pixar to take a chance on him with this and it paid off.
The special talks to other people in New York who share thoughts on the immigrant experience, as Sohn’s words enhance the movie’s storyline. Compare how heartfelt he is talking about this to the cookie-cutter fare of other animated films and it's obvious why Pixar does this so much better.
It’s a great watch for an already wonderful film and why Elemental shines even better on Disney+ to make it a must-watch for Pixar fans.
Elemental is now playing on Disney+.