Elemental: Release Date, Cast, And More We Know About The New Pixar Movie

Ember and Wade in Elemental
(Image credit: Pixar)

The Pixar movies have always been a wonderful source for introducing audiences to new and exciting worlds. This could include a reintroduction to our own familiar surroundings from a new perspective (such as the Toy Story movies), a more introspective reintroduction to our own inner selves (like in Inside Out), or a world that exists beyond life itself (featuring the characters in the Soul voice cast). A recurring theme among those titles and other classics) is the personification of inanimate objects or abstract concepts to symbolize a more relatable theme, such as in Elemental.

Pixar’s latest upcoming animated fantasy already garnered plenty of anticipation from fans of the studio when it released its concept art and a few other details about the unique and intriguing plot in May 2022. We will be sure to tell you everything we now know about Elemental in our following guide – starting with when you will be able to see it.

What Is The Elemental Release Date?

Wade from Pixar's Elemental

(Image credit: Pixar)

Pixar’s next major film (which is also its 27th feature-length effort overall) is set to come out on Friday, June 16, 2023. Elemental is also the animation studio’s third film in years to receive a theatrical release, after the sci-fi Toy Story spin-off, Lightyear, in 2022. That being said, families can surely anticipate access to stream the movie with a Disney+ subscription for sometime after it completes its theatrical run.

The Trailer Is A Wondrous Tour Of Element City

Element City from Elemental

(Image credit: Disney / Pixar)

As established, Pixar is introducing audiences to a new world of spectacular invention with Elemental by the name of Element City. Feast your eyes on the sneak peek at this truly unique community in the official Elemental trailer below:

It is easy to see from the teaser that Elemental has a strong message of diversity, taking place in a city where earth, wind, fire, and water live side-by-side, but never mixing until our main fiery and water-based characters, Ember and Wade, cross paths. Funny gags – like a curious child made of water getting absorbed by a sponge, or Ember and Wade questioning a fence’s purpose after easily passing through it – also hint that this story is going to be positively filled with thematic humor.

Leah Lewis And Mamoudou Athie Lead The Elemental Voice Cast

Elemental movie image, Ember meeting Wade's family

(Image credit: Pixar)

Voicing our fiery and water-based central characters in Elemental – according to Deadline – are Leah Lewis as Ember Lumen and Mamoudou Athie as Wade Ripple. Lewis – whom we highlighted in our list of up-and-coming Asian actors recently – is best known for The CW’s Nancy Drew series, and leading Netflix’s LGBTQ+ romantic drama, The Half of It. Emmy nominee Athie also has a leading role on a Netflix original under his belt (2022’s short-lived horror TV show, Archive 81) and also appeared in the Jurassic World: Dominion cast that same year. 

Other actors in the Elemental voice cast – according to The Direct – include Inside Out co-director Ronnie del Carmen and Tehran’s Shila Omni as Ember’s prejudiced parents, Bernie and Cinder; Schitt’s Creek cast member Catherine O’Hara as Wade’s mother, Brook; and Matt Yang King as another water-based character named Alan. The Goldbergs Wendy McClendon-Covey also stars as Wade’s air-based boss, Gale, along with a couple of earth elements – the young Clod, played by Mason Wertheimer in his debut role, and comedian Joe Pera as Fern Grouchwood. At the moment, we do not know if we should expect a cameo from Pixar’s good-luck charm, John Ratzenberger, whose last collaboration with the studio was on the Disney+ series, Monsters at Work.

What We Know About The Plot Of Elemental

Ember on the train in Disney/Pixar's Elemental.

(Image credit: Disney/Pixar)

As revealed in the trailer, along with the release of its concept art, the title of Elemental refers to the film’s setting: a world inhabited by natural elements such as land, water, fire, and air that have taken on an anthropomorphic form. The story focuses primarily on the relationship between a hot-tempered, fire-based woman named Ember and a more free-flowing, water-based male character named Wade, who begin to discover that they have more in common with each other than two people of their respective kinds would expect. 

I am really happy that Elemental secured a theatrical release. After learning what the film is going to be about and seeing the gorgeous animation in the trailer, I believe that this will be an experience that deserves to be seen on the big screen. 

Peter Sohn Is Directing Elemental

Fire and water mixing in Pixar's Elemental.

(Image credit: Pixar)

Calling the shots on Elemental from behind the scenes is Peter Sohn, whose feature-length debut as a director was 2015’s The Good Dinosaur. The anthropomorphic, earthly element characters at the center of the film are actually very personal to the director. Along with the release of the concept art and details of the film’s plot was the following testimony from Sohn about how his own experiences growing up inspired the story:

My parents emigrated from Korea in the early 1970s and built a bustling grocery store in the Bronx. 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?

Also working from behind the scenes on Elemental is Denise Ream, who previously produced four other Pixar films – Up, Cars 2, Toy Story 4, and the aforementioned The Good Dinosaur. After getting her start as a production assistant on the 1989 horror sequel Curse II: The Bite, she became better known in Hollywood as a visual effects producer for Industrial Light and Magic, helping create onscreen magic in films like 1997’s Men in Black, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001, or Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, in which she also made a cameo in 2005.

Knowing that this otherwise strange and fantastic concept is based on real human experiences (a topical theme that Pixar has delved into several times before, of course) makes Elemental one of the films on our 2023 movie schedule that we are most excited for. The release cannot come fast enough!

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.