The World Of Elemental Explained
- Pixar’s Elemental takes audiences on an adventure through Element City, a unique world where all four elements coexist but also have their own limitations.
- Elemental received mixed reviews, with critics praising its animation but not fully embracing its screenplay. Despite a slow start at the box office, it later became a surprise hit and a big comeback in the summer of 2023.
- The story revolves around Ember, a fire element, and Wade, a water element, who challenge society’s prejudices and fall in love. Each town in Element City is designed to cater to the needs of its respective element while allowing for interaction between elements.
Pixar’s Elemental took the audience to an adventure set in Element City, a one-of-a-kind world where all the elements coexist, but it also has its limits. Disney and Pixar continue dominating the world of animation, and their only release in 2023 was Elementaldirected by Peter Sohn. Unfortunately, Elemental received mixed reviews, with critics praising its animation but not being totally on board with its screenplay, and though it initially didn’t perform well at the box office, it ended up becoming a sleeper hit, as well as the big comeback of summer 2023.
Elemental tells the story of fire element Ember Lumen (voiced by Leah Lewis) and water element Wade Ripple (Mamoudou Athie), who meet after an incident at Ember’s family’s store, The Fireplace. Even though they come from two very different worlds, Ember and Wade fall in love, and together they challenge society’s prejudices about the different elements. Due to its themes and characters, Pixar created a whole world for Elemental based on the four elements, with each town and district designed to meet the needs of each one and keep the elements safe, while also allowing (in most cases, at least) elements from other cities to visit them. Here’s every city in Pixar’s Elemental.
The main location in Elemental is Element City, which houses the four towns for each of the elements: Firetown, Water District, Airville, and Earthville. As mentioned above, each town is designed for each element, with special attention to their unique needs and conflicts with the rest of the elements (such as fire and water), but there are places in Element City where the elements can safely mix and interact. Some of these places are Central Park, the Cyclone Stadium (where Ember and Wade go to try and negotiate with Gale, an air element), Element Mall, the Ocean Liner Terminal, and the Element School and Nursery.
Despite each element having its own town, Element City has various monuments, landmarks, and festivals to celebrate the elements and their diversity. The Element Museum can be found in Element City, where anyone can learn about the history and achievements of each element; Element Tower is the tallest building in the city, with four sections representing each element; and there’s the annual celebration named Element Day, that is all about unity and diversity. There are different forms of transportation in Element City, but perhaps the best way to go from one town to another is on the Wetro.
As its name says, Firetown is the town where fire elements live, and at the beginning of Elementalonly fire elements were seen around town, except for Clod, an earth kid and the only resident of Firetown who isn’t a fire element. The town’s first residents were Cinder and Bernie Lumen, who once they established themselves and opened their shop, The Fireplace, raised their daughter, Ember, in Firetown. The buildings in Firetown are made of metal, wood, and brick, and have a chimney. The most notable places in Firetown are The Fireplace, a convenience store and café run by the Lumens, the laundromat Smoke Shop, and a Firework shop.
Water District is the town where all water elements live, among them Wade Ripple and his family, and unlike Firetown, it’s more open to visitors from other towns, though they all have to be careful as Water District is designed to meet the unique needs of water elements. The buildings in Water District have waterfalls on the side and most of them are made of glass (such as the building where Wade and his family live), and everything in town is translucent, transparent, and reflective. While Firetown is all about warm colors, Water District has a cooler color palette to better show how different Ember and Wade’s worlds are.
Another town found in Element City is Airville, the home of all air elements. Airville isn’t explored in Elemental as Wade and Ember never go there, so it’s unknown what its architecture and lifestyle are really like. Although various air elements are seen throughout Elementalthey are all background characters, with the only one to have a proper interaction with Ember and Wade being Gale Cumulus, Wade’s boss at City Hall. Due to their composition, air elements are, arguably, the most fragile of all elements, so their buildings were surely designed to keep them as safe as possible, while also staying true to the element’s unique style.
All the Earth elements in Element City live in Earthville, which just like Airville, isn’t explored in Elemental as Ember and Wade’s story didn’t take them there. Because of this, the characteristics of Earthville are unknown, but its buildings most likely resemble trees and the city has different flowers and plants. Ember and Wade only interact with two Earth elements in Elemental: Clod, Ember’s young neighbor, and Fern Grouchwood, a bureaucrat they visit in hopes that he will help them save The Fireplace.
Outside of Element City, but still part of the universe of Elementalis Fireland. This is the homeland of every living fire element in Elementaland it’s where Bernie and Cinder come from. Through flashbacks, Elemental explained that Bernie and Cinder opened a store like The Fireplace in Fireland, but it was destroyed by a storm, leaving them only with their blue flame. Bernie realized the only way to give his family a better life was to leave Fireland, and so he and Cinder immigrated to Element City. Fireland is surrounded by active volcanoes and the houses and businesses are shaped like oil lamps, and all residents have a blue flame. Fireland is only seen in flashbacks in Elemental.
If Fireland exists, it means there’s a land for each element in the world of Elemental. Although it’s not shown at all, the ending of Elemental hints at Ember and Wade leaving Element City to go to Airland. Wade’s mother gets Ember an internship with a glass designer after seeing her talent in glassmaking. Ember mentions that the internship is far away and will last a couple of months, and she and Wade are last seen leaving Element City together. Given that Ember will be learning more about glassmaking, she and Wade could be on their way to Airland, thus setting up a sequel.
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