Disney’s Pixar dropped the trailer for their latest film, “Elemental.” The animated movie will tell the story of a city inhabited by humanoid versions of the elements of fire, water, air, and earth, and what happens when different elements mix. The trailer is receiving praise on social media, with some sensing that it will thematically tackle the complexities of interracial relationships. This would follow in the footsteps of Pixar’s 2015 film “Inside Out”, which explored the interactions of different human emotions in a way that was approachable for young children and adults to understand.
The film is set to star Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as main characters Ember Lumen and Wade, who forge an unlikely connection in a world where elements are often told they can’t mix. The film comes at a particularly poignant time, in which marriage equality has become a debatable right in several states. Conservative Supreme Court Justices initially pushed to strike down marriage equality in 2022 following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, but President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act to further solidify marital rights in response.
I'm seated for the interracial dating Pixar movie lolpic.twitter.com/SnzdHvFVjU
— Ex Beyonce Fan (@kingbealestreet) March 28, 2023
With the new trailer drop came another important announcement–a new Pixar short film will be released alongside “Elemental.” The film, titled “Carl’s Date,” will be a miniature sequel to the hit 2009 film “Up”, and will feature protagonist Carl Fredricksen going on his first date since his wife Ellie passed away.
Pixar’s new short ‘CARL’S DATE’ will play before #Elemental in theaters.
The short follows Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner) as he gets ready for his first date since Ellie passed away. pic.twitter.com/2INoXpoWUW
— Disney Animation Promos (@DisneyAPromos) March 28, 2023
Ed Asner, the voice behind Carl in the original “Up”, passed away in 2021. It was confirmed that Asner recorded his voice parts for this role prior to his death.
Carl's Date will debut in theaters before #Elemental. Ed Asner recorded his dialogue a few months before his death. During the press event at Pixar yesterday, they surprised us by showing the short to us. It was a very nice surprise but also kinda mean since it made us all cry. pic.twitter.com/z0tUbGetqj
— Eric Goldman (@TheEricGoldman) March 28, 2023
The romantic themes at the center of both stories are leading “Elemental” to be dubbed “Pixar’s first rom-com” across the internet today.
Elemental is a refreshing change of pace. A step back to classic Pixar while also delivering something completely new. Best described as Pixar's 1st RomCom, audiences will instantly fall in love w/ Wade & Ember. Each element is unique in look & movement. It’s gorgeous! #Elemental pic.twitter.com/eSdsbs6tp1
— Tessa Smith – Mama's Geeky (@MamasGeeky) March 28, 2023
Critics who previewed the film are praising its ability to tackle important intercultural topics in an accessible way.
I saw footage from #Elemental this weekend!
The movie surprised me from the start with how deeply personal it is. A gorgeous original story about the sacrifices our parents make for us.
The animation is wild. So complex and beautifully inventive.
I can’t wait to see the rest! pic.twitter.com/zE7StsJ6c1
— Daniel Howat (@howatdk) March 28, 2023
Went to the footage screening for #Elemental and it’s a quirky whimsical love story rooted in community and culture as a metaphor. And seeing some of it in 3-D was an an amazing spectacle! pic.twitter.com/nn29eSXKiC
— Jamie Broadnax (@JamieBroadnax) March 28, 2023
While the announcement is generating positive buzz for the popular animation studio, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that company layoffs remain underway. The company will lay off approximately 7,000 employees this week.
#TheWaltDisneyCompany CEO #BobIger confirmed that three rounds of staff layoffs are underway – with the first taking place this week. The news comes as #Disney looks to reduce its workforce by approximately 7000 jobs. / #Lucasfilm #MarvelStudios #Pixar https://t.co/fqQZwlqGGU
— Bleeding Cool (@bleedingcool) March 27, 2023
Disney was criticized last month for a pattern of announcing new films to allegedly distract from company shake ups and mass layoffs. News of layoffs initially circulated when Disney announced “Toy Story”, “Frozen”, and “Zootopia” sequels.
Now that's a headline
— The Serfs (@theserfstv) February 10, 2023
As of now, previous CEO Bob Chapek’s 50 employee strong Metaverse division was the first to go. Current CEO Bob Iger was brought back into the company after he was temporarily replaced with Chapek, and announced that the first round of cuts was a part of “broader restructuring” in the company.
This is executive life. Everyone is told to scramble to figure out the metaverse and then the new/old guy comes back and tells everyone (who isn’t canned), “Never mind.” https://t.co/eIbFo6wwtE
— Kim Masters (@kimmasters) March 28, 2023
Iger went on to confirm that the layoffs would be complete in three waves, and that employees will know where they stand before this summer.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed the first of three rounds of layoffs is starting this week as the company looks to reduce its workforce by about 7,000 employees. Read the exec’s memo to employees here: https://t.co/sTnQNW8dHK pic.twitter.com/Kzb39MDo3g
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 27, 2023
“Elemental” comes to theaters on June 16, and Pixar fans are hoping it will bring all the heat.