New Pixar Film Is A ‘Culture Clash’ According To Director

Hands from Elemental
Credit: Disney Pixar

If you’ve had your fill of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Little Mermaid live-action remake news, then you’re going to want to hear this inside information that gets Pixar back to the root of its storytelling. The all-original Pixar film, Elemental, comes to theaters everywhere on June 16, and director Peter Sohn sat down to discuss his vision behind the story.

peter sohn director elemental disney pixar


Elemental takes audiences into the daily lives of fundamental elements such as water, fire, air, and earth. Personified fire element, Ember, voiced by Leah Lewis, ventures out of her comfort zone and into Element City with new companion made of water, Wade (Mamoudou Athie). The duo have adventures and learn about themselves even though “elements don’t mix.”

Sohn discusses how the film comes from a very personal place. His Korean parents raised him in Korean traditions, and as an adult, he is now able to recognize and appreciate the sacrifices they made for him. This is where Sohn finds the “heart” of his film Elemental.

ember and wade disney pixar elemental peter sohn


Sohn continues,

This film is about a culture clash, and it was about trying to translate some of those experiences in an elemental way. I remember my wife eating Korean food for the first time, and she just wasn’t used to how spicy it was.

This anecdote is intercut with a scene from the film when Wade eats at Ember’s family shop. Ember’s father, voiced by Ronnie del Carmen, offers Wade what looks like a plate of molten rocks to eat. Wade politely swallows some and goes into immediate distress from the heat.

See the teaser Pixar poster on Twitter HERE.

elemental disney pixar wade ember water fire element city


Peter Sohn has also directed based Disney / Pixar films such as The Good Dinosaur (2015). The voice cast also features Shila Ommi, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Catherine O’Hara, Mason Wertheimer, and Joe Pera.

The film will follow a short starring Up‘s (2009) Carl Fredrickson going on his first date since the passing of his wife, whit trusty dog Dug as his wingman.

See it yourself in theaters on June 16!

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!