With their next production just a few weeks away from release, Pixar has officially unveiled their subsequent project, which is due out in the summer of 2023. It’s called Elemental, and it is directed by Peter Sohn, who previously made Pixar’s 2015 feature, The Good Dinosaur.

Sohn himself described the project and its inspiration this way, in a press release:

My parents emigrated from Korea in the early 1970s and built a bustling grocery store in the Bronx. We were among many families who ventured to a new land with hopes and dreams — all of us mixing into one big salad bowl of cultures, languages, and beautiful little neighborhoods. That’s what led me to Elemental. Our story is based on the classic elements — fire, water, land and air. Some elements mix with each other, and some don’t. What if these elements were alive?

Pixar also released the first concept art from the film, which shows fire and water elementals getting along reasonably well:

ELEMENTAL
Pixar
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The concept of anthropomorphized elements calls to mind earlier Pixar productions like Inside Out, which turned the volatile emotions inside a young girl’s head into characters in a brilliant and moving adventure. Inside Out was directed by Pixar legend Pete Docter, though, while Sohn’s The Good Dinosaur is not regarded as one of the better movies from the studio. That movie did have absolutely gorgeous animation; if Elemental can deliver equally exciting characters and a compelling story, it could keep Pixar on the hot streak it’s been on lately with SoulLuca, and especially the fantastic Turning Red.

Elemental will be released on June 16, 2023. (So far, Disney hasn’t specified whether the movie will be released to theaters or go straight to Disney+ — and with Pixar films these days, you never quite know where they will wind up.) The next Pixar production, Lightyear, a space adventure featuring the “real” version of the Buzz Lightyear character from Toy Story, opens in theaters on June 17.

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