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Pixar's 27th original animated movie should make fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender very happy. Officially titled Elemental and scheduled for a wide theatrical release next summer, the project takes place in a city populated by anthropomorphic versions of fire, water, land, and air. Once again, the Disney-owned studio hopes to put big, worldly concepts into a relatable and easily understandable context for younger viewers. The two main characters are described as an "unlikely pair" comprised of "fiery young woman" Ember and "go-with-the-flow guy" Wade, who discover that they have more in common than they initially thought. Peter Sohn (director of The Good Dinosaur and voice of Emile in Ratatouille) will helm the movie, inspired by his upbringing in New York City.
"My parents emigrated from Korea in the early 1970s and built a bustling grocery store in the Bronx,” the filmmaker said in a statement. “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?"
Check out the first piece of concept art and official title treatment below:
"It's hard to believe Pixar's been around 34 years," Pixar's Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter remarked during an investor presentation back in the winter of 2020. "But you know? The truth is we're just getting started ... We honor tradition while at the same time innovating for the future."
Elemental, which has yet to announce a voice cast, is currently scheduled to hit the big screen on June 16, 2023. Denise Ream (The Good Dinosaur, Cars 2) is on board as a producer. The studio's next feature-length release for 2022 — Lightyear (inspired by the Toy Story film franchise) — will be released into theaters Friday, June 17.
Looking for more family-friendly animated content? DreamWorks' The Bad Guys is now playing in theaters and available to rent via On Demand. To date, the film has brought in over $165 million at the worldwide box office. Illumination Entertainment's Minions sequel, The Rise of Gru, hits the big screen Friday, July 1.