In Element City, fire, water, earth and air live in perfect harmony. This is where Flam resides, a fearless and quick-witted young woman with a strong character, and Flack, a sentimental and fun boy, rather a follower at heart. Their friendship challenges Flam’s beliefs about the world they live in…
We knew Pixar capable of a lot of things given their narrative inventiveness and their unrivaled technical mastery for well over two decades in the field of animation. They were still able to amaze us with a mute robot (“Wall-E”), make us cry bitterly when a kid says goodbye to his toys and to childhood (“Toy Story 3”) or even us touch the heart with the dreams and nightmares of a little girl (“Monster & Cie.”). There’s no denying that a lot of competition has tried and succeeded in competing with them on the technical side (as recently proven, for example, by “Super Mario Bros” or the groundbreaking animated saga “Spider-Man”) or still on the comic side (from the Disney parent company with the essential “Zootopia” to Illumination with the “Despicable Me” saga or Blue Sky with that of “Ice Age”), no studio has knew how to make our sensitive cords vibrate, even make us cry with hot tears, with an animated film that the firm with the lamp. Except perhaps the Dreamworks “Dragons” saga which seems to be the exception that proves the rule.
However, they experienced a bad patch with a lot of consecutive films that were just correct like “Luca” or at least not extraordinary like “En avant” and even downright bad like “Red alert”. Fortunately, this little crisis took place in part during the period of health crisis and crisis in cinemas, going more unnoticed. And now they come back to us in great shape with this “Elementary”, a film with a concept just as elementary as its title in addition to being obvious. So much so that one wonders why no animation studio had thought of it before (perhaps because of technical barriers). Making a film featuring the four elements of water, earth, air and fire is a genius idea. And because Pixar always surprises us, it bathes this pitch with infinite possibilities in a sentimental comedy (their first real one) with social cultural accents. And in addition, the film has the merit of advocating living together and an ode to differences while shouting down racism and revisiting American history and its waves of immigration. All this in a family and animated film? Yes, it is possible, Pixar has done it and more than good!
We are still talking here about a love story between a flame and a puddle! Ridiculous? Absolutely not, it is full of inventiveness and beautiful to die for, both emotionally and visually. Imagine: two beings who love each other but who cannot touch each other, reminiscent of so many impossible romances that the seventh art has been able to produce. If it’s not the city of Elemental City which looks a bit like that of Zootopia (with the gag of the soft administrative agent as much as possible copied on the latter), the people of the earth a little aside and a few lengths at the end, “Elementary” remains a very great film where the beauty of the animation is extraordinary (all these different textures and techniques to represent the different elements/characters with a weakness for those of fire). And it competes with the precision of a rich scenario in addition to being at several levels of reading and for all ages. The unloved people of the fire could be as much the natives as any people bullied throughout history. The dialogues and puns with the elements are unstoppable and excellent, using the richness of the lexical field on the subject. We have our eyes filled with stars for an hour and a half of happiness in front of a work of sublime colors that surprises and amazes without stopping. All fire, all flame, this Pixar makes your mouth water all the way.