"Elemental": Important message packed in a child-friendly way

In recent years in particular, animation film company Pixar has mastered the art of packaging complicated issues that adults sometimes have trouble with in a child-friendly way.

"Elemental": Important message packed in a child-friendly way

In recent years in particular, animation film company Pixar has mastered the art of packaging complicated issues that adults sometimes have trouble with in a child-friendly way. In "Soul", for example, the topic of depression was tackled in a clever and touching way. "Coco" dealt with dying and should have made even the toughest (lock) dogs howl. And "Everything is upside down" is dedicated to the exuberant emotional chaos of an adolescent.

As the title suggests, Pixar's new film "Elemental" (in cinemas from June 22) is about the four elements water, fire, earth and air. But once again the allegorical and colorful figures of the four different "population groups" stand for very secular themes: migration and xenophobia.

"Elemental" by director Peter Sohn (45) is about Ember (spoken in German by Emilia Schüle, 30), a young fire element. Her family has always faced prejudice and rejection. But Ember also avoids the water elements for self-protection - after all, even a little carelessness could lead to her "extinguishing". Ember's life is turned upside down from one moment to the next when she accidentally meets the water element Wade (voiced by Jannis Niewöhner, 31). The more they immerse themselves in each other's cultures, they realize that they aren't all that different in many areas - and that differences can also connect people.

Director Sohn, who also worked on the screenplay, was able to incorporate numerous personal experiences into the story of "Elemental". He grew up in the Bronx, New York, his parents came to the United States as Korean immigrants. Speaking to Variety, he summed up his experiences back then: "As a kid, I didn't really understand or appreciate what it meant to be an immigrant." It was only later that he realized how hard his parents worked to "make our lives possible for me and my brother".

At the same time, the most beautiful "culture clash" imaginable happened in his life: "I married someone who wasn't from Korea, and there were numerous cultural clashes in my world." The idea for "Elemental" was finally born from this autobiographical experience, shared by many people around the world: "It made me wonder [...] what happens when fire falls in love with water."

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