Here’s everything we know so far about PIXAR’s new film, coming summer 2023

wade and ember pixar elemental film concept art
Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

PIXAR’s newest film is called Elemental, and all we can say is we hope it fares better than Lightyear has.

PIXAR first announced its newest film, Elemental, earlier this year, and from what we can see so far, it looks to be another good one.

The PIXAR powerhouse is notorious for the theme of inanimate objects coming to life (and some live beings taking on the ability to speak and express their feelings.) The theme stretches to include such things as emotions coming to life, taking on physical bodies, and speaking as well, as in Inside Out.

Finding Nemo | Disney Movies

Credit: Disney Movies

There’s even a saying about PIXAR films: they’re all about feelings–what if toys had feelings? Toy Story. What if bugs had feelings? A Bug’s Life. What if fish had feelings? Finding Nemo. What if superheroes had feelings (and spouses and children and . . . )? The Incredibles. What if cars had feelings? You guessed it; Cars.

That same all-encompassing theme looks to be front and center in PIXAR’s Elemental. After all, elements like fire and water take on human characteristics like bodies and the ability to communicate.

According to the film’s verified Twitter account, all the elements live together.

In a city where fire, water, land, & air residents live together, a fiery young woman & a go-with-the-flow guy will discover something elemental: how much they have in common.

Elemental is PIXAR’s 27th feature-length animated film, but at the time, neither PIXAR or Disney has confirmed whether the film will see a theatrical release like Lightyear, or a release directly to the Disney+ streaming platform like Soul, Luca, and Turning Red.
soul luca turning red

Credit: Canva Creation

At first thought, it would make sense that since PIXAR has once again graced the silver screen with a piece of its own brand of magic in Lightyear, that Elemental would follow suit, rather than seeing a direct release to Disney+, but given Lightyear’s less than (inter)stellar performance so far, could it be that PIXAR will keep the next film(s) out of the theater?

That remains to be seen.

We know the names of two characters in PIXAR’s Elemental so far. They are Ember and Wade. Ember, of course, represents the element of fire, and Wade represents the element of water.

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wade and ember pixar elemental film concept art

Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

Two seemingly polar opposites, according to the tiny teaser description we’ve received from PIXAR so far, they will learn how much they have in common. How exactly the two can co-exist when one has the power to cancel the other is a quagmire, but if anyone can figure that out, it’s PIXAR.

The film does, however, focus on the relationship between the two: Wade and Ember. Wade has a more “go-with-the-flow” approach to life, while Ember is a hot-tempered female. Over the course of the film, according to CinemaBlend, the two begin to see that they have more in common than they expected.

There’s no word yet on which talented actors and actresses PIXAR will tap to bring the characters of Elemental to life, but those of us who are life-long PIXAR fans hope the studio will bring back John Ratzenberger, despite the fact that his voice hasn’t been heard in the last three PIXAR films.

The Good Dinosaur | Disney Movies

Credit: Disney Movies

The film will be directed by Peter Sohn who worked in animation on Warner Bros.’ The Iron Giant. His first role as director at PIXAR was in the short Partly Cloudy. He also directed PIXAR’s The Good Dinosaur (2015). Before that, Sohn was a story artist and production artist on the crew for Finding Nemo. He also lent his voice to Squishy in Monsters University. Sohn also lent his voice to the robotic cat named Sox in Lightyear.
Pixar Short Review – Partly Cloudy (2009) – A Writer Reviews

Credit: PIXAR Animation Studios

Sohn says the inspiration for the film came from his childhood:

“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?”

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Peter Sohn as Sox | All the Famous Voices Behind the Characters in  "Lightyear" | POPSUGAR Entertainment Photo 10

“Elemental” Director/Credit: PopSugar

As the time for the film’s release draws closer, we will learn even more about PIXAR’s newest project. Whether at the theater or in your living room (because we just don’t know yet), you’ll be able to catch PIXAR’s Elemental on June 16, 2023.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!