5 Important Life Lessons in Disney Pixar’s ‘Elemental’

If you just watched Disney Pixar’s ‘Elemental‘ and are looking to dive a little deeper, this post should help. We’re discussing some of the life lessons in ‘Elemental‘.

I already shared our review of Disney and Pixar’s Elemental. The vibrant story that invites us into a world where fire, water, earth, and air come alive in a bustling city called Element City. The movie tells the captivating story of Ember, a Fire Girl, and Wade, a Water Guy, who discover that their differences can bring them closer together. 

I loved the blend of humor, emotion, and stunning visuals. But, as you’d expect from a Pixar movie by now, it also has some great lessons. The lessons in Elemental can give us valuable takeaways about acceptance, love, following our dreams, and the power of communication.

Disney Pixar's Elemental with Wade, a water guy, Ember, a fire girl, and Wade's mom, a water lady all smiling together. Life lessons in elemental are explained in this post.
© 2023 Disney/Pixar

Life Lessons in ‘Elemental

Elemental introduces us to a cast of characters who were a delight for my kids and myself. I was able to attend a virtual press conference where Leah Lewis, who voices Ember, said the character mirrors a younger version of herself–a bit guarded and fearful of exploring the unknown. Yet, she possesses an elegant and radiant spirit, representing the beauty that lies within each of us. Ember’s loyalty to her family and her unwavering passion resonate deeply, reminding us of the importance of standing up for what we believe in.

Wade, brought to life by the optimistic voice of Mamoudou Athie, is a Water Guy with a unique outlook on life. Choosing to see the positive in everything and everyone, Wade’s open heartedness is infectious. His own journey of self-discovery and the way he fills the missing pieces in Ember’s life teach us the value of embracing differences and finding joy in unexpected places.

“Elemental” is not just an entertaining film; it also imparts important life lessons that can resonate with audiences of all ages. I asked my kids what lessons they learned from Elemental, and we wrote some down in our Movie Night Journal. I also wanted to share 5 life lessons in Elemental that I took away myself.

1. We have more in common with others than we think

Probably the most obvious lesson, even evident from the trailers, was accepting others who are different. Ember and Wade’s friendship challenges societal beliefs about the differences between them. In all of Element city the characters coexist but don’t always accept one another. Fire was basically shunned from the rest of the city.  The film beautifully illustrates that embracing diversity, and truly seeing people for who they are and their own individual talents,  can lead to deeper connections and understanding among individuals. 

During the press conference Director Peter Sohon said he hopes viewers get this takeaway.

“You know, this whole film’s been about connection,” Sohon said. “If an audience member comes out of this film inspired by the world and the characters to connect with somebody, that would mean the world”

“All these characters are definitely different by the end as a result of mingling with each.” Lewis added. 

2. Avoid Making Generalizations 

I’ve heard a lot of people who haven’t seen Elemental just yet comparing it to Inside Out, but I think it’s actually more like Zootopia, because of this similar lesson. By showcasing the diversity and unique qualities of each elemental community, and how each character kind of has their own awakening as they mingle together, you can see their opinions of each other shift. Elemental teaches us not to make hasty judgments or assumptions based on appearances. It reminds us to look beyond stereotypes and see the true essence of every individual. 

Producer Denise Ream hopes this message comes across.

“I want people to keep their hearts open to someone or people that may be different,” she said.

3. Living life for your dreams

Ember’s journey is not only about discovering her connection with Wade but also about discovering her dreams and passions. She learns that it’s important  to live our lives authentically, pursuing what brings us joy, even if it is a different path than others expect for you. Lewis said she hopes people watch this movie and discover a missing piece of themselves they weren’t quite sure was there. 

“You know, the part that we keep quiet, the part that maybe that we’re afraid of,” Lewis said. “Getting to let that part of yourself really, really shine.”

4. Don’t Leave Things Unsaid

Ember and Wade a fire girl and water guy stand in a colorful setting. Life lessons in Elemental.
© 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Wade was my favorite character in the movie. I love how he just expressed himself freely and his whole family cracked me up. I’m not quite that open, but I do have a thing for sharing emotions and it’s something I talk a lot about with my kids. Throughout the film, characters learn the significance of expressing their thoughts and feelings openly. Elemental emphasizes the importance of communication, and it really drives home the idea of how crucial it is not to leave important words unsaid, and what can happen if you do. 

Producer Denise Ream said sometimes that means not taking people in your life for granted. 

“Maybe just a show a little appreciation for parents or anyone that’s sort of helped you along the way,” she said. “Pick up the phone call and say thanks.

5. Breaking Free from Parental Expectations 

Pixar movies do a fantastic job of entertaining the kids while dealing some big blows for the parents and other adults in the audience too. Ember’s story reflects the struggle many of us face when torn between pursuing their own dreams and conforming to our parents’ expectations. The movie encourages us to find our own path and live for ourselves

Singer and songwriter for Elemental, Lauv found this to be one of the most beautiful aspects of the story. 

“The balance between the ability to honor and respect tradition while also going and following your dreams personally,” Lauv said. “I think that was so cool, the message of like, the two coexisting in a way… There’s a lot of all or nothing kind of ideas being put out there.” 

Elemental is a cinematic gem that will leave you inspired, moved, and filled with a sense of wonder. 

I can be a pretty tough critic and I think this Pixar movie is a must-see. Don’t sleep on it. It’s not my favorite Pixar movie, but it has potential to make its way into my Pixar Top 10. My kids enjoyed it for different reasons than I did and I’m sure as they get older and we watch it more and more we’ll grow to love it for different reasons. 

Once you’ve watched Disney Pixar’s Elemental I’d love to hear your thoughts! What lessons did you learn?


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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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