Pixar’s reputation for outstanding animated films continues with Elemental. Their titles often peer into surprising worlds and this journey into Elemental City is no different; as its name implies, cultures formed by air, earth, fire, and water diverge in an eclectic destination. The characters may be fictional but the stories that accompany the film’s central themes are all too real.
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, Elemental delivers on its promise of entertainment for all ages. Looking for something to watch after the film? Check out these picks for anyone who loved Elemental.
10 The Simpsons
There’s nothing quite like The Simpsons; the long-running animated series can boast a fan base that covers generations. Much of its apparel comes from the characters who surround this fictional family. From lonesome loser Moe to the violent cartoon-within-a-cartoon duo Itchy and Scratchy, these creations highlight the broad spectrum of personalities encountered on a daily basis. The fascinating mix makes way for not only humor but a true inspection of the lows as well as the highs of what it means to be human.
9 The Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls embody the spirit of overcoming evil, no matter the challenges. These characters — made of sugar and spice — may be young but they’re far from powerless. Each adventure also highlights the bonds of family as these sisters pull together for the sake of Townsville’s preservation.
Adult influences are kept at bay, with the girls often in control of their destinies; that’s not to say that influences like Professor Utonium and Sara Bellum are not helpful along the way. While it may not be computer-generated, the series captures bright tones and a retro style to create something appealing to viewers of all ages.
8 Steven Universe
Steven Universe arguably ranks as one of Cartoon Network’s best offerings. The series is set in a world where those imbued with gemstones keep threats at bay. Steven, a half-human boy, carries with him the legacy of his gemstone mother and the inspiration she provided to others.
At the heart of his journey are stories about personal connections and the love shared between those he encounters. It’s not all heartwarming moments though, as the series traverses difficult topics. Some storylines delve into feelings of loss as well as mental health issues, to name a few.
7 Adventure Time
Quirky and inventive are just some of the words used to describe this memorable series. Finn and Jake the Dog encounter a myriad of interesting figures as they go about life in the Land of Ooo. The friendship between Jake and Finn may be the key component of the series, but it’s far from the only element. Throughout the series, viewers encounter many themes speaking to the complexities of life.
The series takes on traditional fairy tales as well as the endless fascination with the fantasy genre. Its story sees Princess Bean oppose her mother as she fights against fate. The comedic series looks at how everyone approaches the topic of families — while some are perfectly content with the status quo, others go in search of something better. Disenchantment also challenges how its viewers feel about the positions they are supposed to take in life as opposed to what they truly want to be.
Pokemon ranks as one of the best-known and most popular anime series of all time. Its story follows Ash Ketchum, a boy who seeks to become a Pokemon Master. He is accompanied by his loyal Pokemon, and face of the franchise, Pikachu; the small yellow animal is far from alone, numerous other creatures inhabit the world and each one carries with it a unique set of powers.
The series is full of encouraging themes, most importantly connecting with nature without destroying it. Focusing on the environment makes Pokemon all the more akin to the elements which exist in Element City. Furthermore, Ash adventures speak to how important friendship is for any living being.
4 Spy x Family
Spy x Family might seem like a comedic anime at first, but its roots go far deeper. The fun and lightheartedness of the series are definitely on display as the unlikely family comes together; Young Anya reads minds, Twilight countries his work as a spy, and Yor remains a dedicated assassin. Their adventures put an emphasis on themes surrounding family, especially the connections everyone makes outside of blood relatives.
Additionally, it speaks to political and social divides that drive wedges between even the closest of communities. Those divisions echo in the world of Elemental as citizens are judged just on their element instead of their character.
3 Monster High
High school is awkward for every teen, even those with classic monster lineage. Monster High follows Frankie Stein and her friends as they deal with the ups and downs of these years. The series veers from traditional animation to embrace CGI, creating vivid colors and textures in the process. It shares something else in common with Disney and Pixar: marketing. Audiences can show their love for Monster High with everything from clothes to dolls.
2 The Owl House
The Owl House did not get as much attention as other Disney Channel series but its legacy should help it attain cult status. Its premise follows Luz Noceda as she ventures into a surprising world; this new realm is far from humans, instead focusing on demons. What she learns there emphasizes themes about connections and embracing a person’s true identity. Themes about family, whether born or built, additionally find their way into some of the series’ most prominent storylines.
1 Dug Days
Pixar is far from an established presence on TV, with only a few projects to its credit. The Disney+ series Dug Days shows what Pixar can do for streaming. Its story follows Dug and Carl, characters from the film UP. They’ve moved on from the famous house and its balloons. Now, they are looking at a new life away from everything they’ve known. The series emphasizes the importance of friendship and listening to what others have to say.
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