Is Elemental safe for kids? Is Elemental OK for children? Read the Elemental Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide and mom review of the all-new Disney•Pixar animated film starring Leah Lewis as Ember and Mamoudou Athie as Wade. No spoilers! #Elemental May contain commissioned links.
Elemental Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide
What do you get when you combine fire, water, earth, air, and Pixar heart?
Well, apparently it’s not Captain Planet.
In Disney Pixar’s newest attempt at an original animated film, director Peter Sohn is holding his feet to the literal fire after a roller coaster of mediocre to controversial Pixar releases (Onward, Luca, and Turning Red to name a few). With the hopes of igniting a new spark of the signature Pixar emotional storytelling, laughs and tears, Elemental has a chance to blow the competition away with an unforgettable summer blockbuster.
But is the water overflowing from tears – or from the continuous torture of Pixar “middle-of-the-road” movies?
In this Elemental Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m breaking down the visuals, the story, a full PG age rating explanation for violence, adult themes and language, and what kids’ age recommendation is suggested to watch in this new Elemental parents guide to the new 2023 Disney•Pixar animated film. A no-spoiler parent review of 2023 Elemental, does this original Disney Pixar film have all of the elements for an award-winning movie? Or does Peter Sohn deliver another Good Dinosaur 2?
Grab your FREE Elemental Coloring Pages and Kids Activities – 14 pages!
Pixar never ceases to astound in the visuals department. The elements of the latest CGI technology and the creativity of Pixar Animation combine to produce a simply colorful, dreamy land to immerse in. Not quite as stunning as Pixar’s Coco (that movie always gets me!), but the bright colors, moving water and crisp fire visuals are definitely a sight for Disney Pixar fans.
Photosensitivity Warning. For viewers prone to epilepsy and photosensitivity, it’s actually relieving to say that Pixar’s Elemental is a much more enjoyable, safer film for viewing. There are no strobing effects or bright flashing lights. However, be prepared for some fireworks and of course, lots of bright burning fire throughout the movie.
Disney and Pixar’s Elemental is an all-new, original animated film directed by Pixar veteran Peter Sohn (“The Good Dinosaur“). Featuring the voice talents of Leah Lewis (“Nancy Drew“) as Ember, Mamoudou Athie (“Jurassic World Dominion“) as Wade, along with Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek“), Shila Ommi (“Charlie Wilson’s War“), Ronnie del Carmen (“Soul“) and Joe Pera (“F is for Family“).
This 2023 Pixar film is set in Element City, where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in.
I had hoped that Peter Sohn would have really grown and stretched himself since his The Good Dinosaur directing debut. Elemental is a familiar Pixar formula that should produce fantastic results – per the usual. But this Pixar romance seems like a tired move than a passion project. An homage to Asian director Sohn’s parents, I completely empathize with the stereotypical immigrant Asian family dynamics, racial/diversity inferences, and forbidden love. However, the slow, predictable story build and mix of themes of other more successful Disney/Pixar films (ahem – Zootopia, Inside Out, Turning Red) makes Elemental feel like an underwhelming, middle-of-the-road, safe option for Pixar.
The humor was lacking. The character build was flawed. And that emotional heartstring pull, teary eyed, choked up feeling was missing – only scratching the surface on deeper issues that Pixar could have taken risks and explored.
That PG Rating Explained
Is Elemental safe for kids? Another PG rated Disney Pixar animated film? Should parents be concerned? It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language??). And as we know, not all movie and TV age ratings are the same. As a parent, it’s been rather heartbreaking to witness how ratings have shifted over the years with a G-rating no longer an option.
PG ratings now oscillating between Turning Red intense to Christopher Robin calm, and even PG-13/TV-14 age ratings teetering on the edge of R or MA ratings (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Werewolf by Night, I see you!), there’s a wide range between the age of 0-14 years old for parents to consider. Having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or show is kid friendly – and safe for the whole family to watch together.
Why is Elemental rated PG? In this Elemental Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, this 2023 original Disney Pixar animated film is rated PG for “brief language, thematic elements, mild peril.” With film and TV ratings also unpredictable these days, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie or television show like Elemental is kid friendly. Is Elemental too scary for kids? Too adult? Let’s breakdown that PG age rating in this Elemental parents guide.
Violence/Suspense. Thematic elements and mild peril go under this portion of the Elemental movie review. And overall, very mild. Violence is nonexistent, and suspense is almost zero as well. More on par with the usual Pixar formula. I’m talking less peril than Incredibles 2.
Adult Themes. Death, grief and loss are common themes, along with tense family dynamics and discussions that are stereotypically found in Asian families (similar to Turning Red) that may be triggering for some. No alcohol or drug references.
Sexual innuendo is very mild. There’s brief hand holding, close dancing, kissing and verbal discussion of love and the phrase “I love you.” There is a very brief verbal introduction to a same sex women couple (less than 5 seconds). 1 verbal phrase of “hanky panky” used for comedic effect.
While there is no toilet humor in Elemental, I will say that the Pixar short “Carl’s Date” does have multiple potty humor references for comedic effect. There are multiple verbal references to a dog’s tendency to “smell her backwards side.” There is also one use of a phrase including the word “poop.”
Language. A Pixar film with brief language? Is it Incredibles 2 all over again? I thought that my ears deceived me at first. But thankfully, Elemental is on the more conservative disclosure side this time – with brief language not even being close to the whole story. Swear words and foul language are almost nonexistent in this animated movie. With only one play on words phrase of “get off your lazy ash” being as close to curse words as it gets.
Milder insults and bad language words and phrases include “dang,” “stupid,” “jerk,” “oh gosh,” and “oh my gosh.” There are 2 uses of the phrase “act of God,” but used appropriately. Overall, I would have thought that brief language didn’t need to be disclosed at all for Elemental. This really surprised me.
Elemental Movie Age Rating for Kids?
With a runtime of 1 hour 43 minutes, this 2023 Disney•Pixar animated film fits right in the sweet spot for kids and families. However, the overall the plot felt slower than normal Pixar pacing though, with more dialogue and relationship focus than action/adventure to keep the younger child audience engaged.
Disney•Pixar’s Elemental movie is within the usual Pixar formula with a twist, most comparable to Zootopia meets Inside Out with a touch of Turning Red.
This 2023 original Disney•Pixar animated film is rated PG for “brief language, thematic elements, mild peril” by the MPAA.
No, there are NO end credit scenes in Elemental. Though fans may enjoy mid credit animations and still image “stickers,” and a short end credit dedication.
Based on my Elemental parents guide and mom review above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Elemental to kids younger than the age of 3-4 years old.
Considering the full PG age rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Elemental to kids younger than the age of 3-4 years old. This Disney•Pixar animated film rating is pretty weak in my opinion, and would be more on par with a more mild G rating (if that still existed).
I recommend that parents prescreen Elemental for romance elements, along with very mild innuendo and slower story pacing for young wiggle worm kids.
Same formula, same results. It’s The Good Dinosaur, all over again. Elemental is more of a simmer than a boil when it comes to Pixar romance – not quite reaching the golden Disney Pixar standard for me personally. I’m sad to admit that I didn’t even choke up, (Am I losing my emotional barometer in my old age?) with Sohn barely scratching the surface tension of emotional possibility. And this is despite me being a first generation Asian immigrant.
Overall, it seems that Sohn does not quite have all of the elements to make a memorable, original Pixar film to rival that of Toy Story, Up or The Incredibles. Without humor, memorable one liners, and even deeper emotional relatability to the audience, Sohn’s homage to his Asian immigrant parents is timely – but falls on deaf ears. Sadly, no one will place Elemental in their top Pixar movies of all time. And Sohn will have to settle for an underwhelming “OK” score that will sit on the dusty shelves alongside The Good Dinosaur.
Grab your FREE Elemental Coloring Pages and Kids Activities – 14 pages!
Follow Elemental on social media:
- Website: https://www.pixar.com/elemental
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarElemental
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/pixarelemental
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pixarelemental/
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Disney•Pixar’s newest animated film for summer 2023, Elemental, surges into theaters on Friday 16, 2023 and streams on Disney+ starting Wednesday September 18, 2023. Will your family be watching?
I was invited to screen the all-new 2023 Disney•Pixar animated film Elemental in exchange for this Elemental Movie Review | Safe for Kids? Parents Guide. All photos courtesy of Disney•Pixar. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!