Ember delivering products on her motorcycle in Elemental

Elemental Fun Facts – 5 Things We Learned About the Film When Visiting Pixar (And More Screencaps)

We recently traveled to Pixar’s Animation Studios to learn all about the making of Elemental. As part of our trip, we were able to chat with many of the film’s creators from Director Peter Sohn, to the Production Designer Don Shank, to Directing Animators Gwen Enderoglu and Allison Rutland (among others).

Elemental Concept Art of Ember and Wade on the subway
ELEMENTAL – Concept Art by Peter Sohn. © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

We have many more details we’ll be able to share from our trip, but let’s start with 5 fun facts we learned from the team.


  1. The film is based on director Peter Sohn’s life with his parents immigrating to the USA from Korea – not speaking a word of English and settling into the Bronx. Sohn’s family also opened up a grocery store names Sohn’s Fruits and Vegetables – similar to Ember’s family in the film.
  2. Pixar had to upgrade and buy more computers for Elemental. There is over 151,000 cores in use for this film in three large rooms on the Pixar campus. For perspective Toy Story had 294 cores, Monsters Inc. had 672 cores, and Finding Nemo had 923 cores. This is a massive amount of computing power.
  3. Elemental just wrapped. The final frame was just approved Friday, March 24, 2023. Sohn noted that he had tears in his eyes when wrapping – which also shows how similar Sohn is to Wade (who shows emotion very often in the film).
  4. If you were to guess which element characters would be the hardest to complete, what would you think? At first glance, you may think it would be fire or maybe air. While these characters were extremely challenging in their own ways, it was the water characters that proved to be the hardest obstacle for the team, as water has reflection and refraction within them. The team used some “cheats” to make the characters both realistic and cartoony, with multiple layers going into each character. The coolest fact was that the water characters have an outline that helps define the character’s body and expressions along with an always-flowing exterior so they feel and look like water and not glass.
  5. The film took 7 years to make both in the studio and at home. Story Artist Jason Katz shared that the story team finished their part while working remotely at home.
Elemental Wade Development Artwork
ELEMENTAL – Concept Art by Maria Yi. © 2023 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


Enjoy these other great looks from the film – tell us this isn’t going to be a gorgeous film to watch!

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like