‘The Art of Elemental’ is a beautiful book

Category: Books and Music

The new Disney/Pixar animated film Elemental takes audiences into a colorful world where Fire, Water, Earth, and Air live together in Element City. The Art of Elemental book adds additional magic and fun to the story while delving into the background, the characters, and the art that make this film fun and enjoyable for all ages. Even the cover art of the book is immediately engaging, delightful, and magical.

The story of Elemental is about family, love, and being able to join the two. Taken from director Peter Sohn’s memories of his South Korean family melding with other immigrant families of different backgrounds is what drove him to this particular story. 

This book takes readers into the story and the story of how the artists took on this challenge of creating elements that were worthy of emotions for both themselves and the audiences. There are hundreds of images in the pages that will definitely put a smile on readers’ faces. Just looking at the characters and their expressions even without knowing their stories is endearing.

Element City is filled with color and a variety of shapes. It is the quintessential magical location. It is where all the elements live together. The small touches might not be immediately visible to audiences when they see the film, but the book points out several cute touches that make the film adorable: The Chemis-Tree plant shop, ION IT eyeglass shop, etc.

While the images in the book are beautiful and educational for readers to see the progression of the film over time, the information presented gives readers a complete background into how the characters, scenes, and places were created.

Quite frankly, even without knowing the storyline, the images are adorable to look at and learning about the background of them makes them all the more interesting. Take the “Wetro,” which is Element City’s metro, or subway. All aspects of a real city are included in Element City. After all, it’s where the elements live.

The artists had real challenges with the characters. How do you create a water character, a fire character, an air character, and an earth character. Alice Lemma, a character designer on the film, said, “When I first started working on Elemental, I tried making an Air character out of cotton.” (pg. 122) She worked with that mock-up for awhile. That was only one challenge met by the talented artists.

Elemental connects Sohn’s New York experience “to a world similar to New York – a world where Fire, Earth, Air, and Water all live on top of each other, mixing and not mixing, and trying to create a life for themselves.” (pg. 9)

Just flipping through the pages enforces the hard work that went into creating this magical film. This is a work of art.

  • Publisher  –  Chronicle Books (May 16, 2023)
  • Hardcover  – 176 pages
  • ISBN-10 –  1797218514
  • ISBN-13 –  978-1797218519

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 30 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.