Pixar’s newest film, Elemental, is releasing in theaters across the United States this summer, on June 16, 2023. In preparation for its upcoming release, I had the opportunity to take part in the film’s long-lead press day, where Director Peter Sohn and Producer Denise Ream discussed the making of the movie, some behind-the-scenes details, and some of their favorite Easter Eggs that made it to the screen. Check out this interview with filmmakers Peter Sohn and Denise Ream as they discuss Pixar’s Elemental Easter Eggs and other fun facts.
If you enjoyed Pixar’s Elemental Easter Eggs, check out these other articles: PIXAR’s Elemental music, soundtrack & songs, Guillermo del Torro’s Pinocchio Easter Eggs, Hocus Pocus 2 Easter Eggs, Turning Red Easter Eggs.
PIXAR’s Elemental Easter Eggs
Movie fans love a good Easter Egg spotting, especially when it comes to Disney and Pixar films, both known for packing their movies with little throwbacks to classic films and shorts, as well as some random items that may have significant meaning to them. The latter is true when it comes to Pixar’s newest film releasing this summer, Elemental, an animated feature that revolves around the Earth’s elements: fire, water, land, and air. During the long-lead press day for the film, producer Denise Ream shared her favorite Easter Egg that made it into the movie: a chair. “There is a chair from the University that I attended as well as many others that are in Firetown, so I love that one. It’s on the shot with the window, at least in one shot.” Ream shares.
Ream isn’t the only Elemental filmmaker that snuck a little personal Easter Egg into the film. Director Peter Sohn recalls Ralph Eggleston, an animator, art director, storyboard artist, and production designer at Pixar Studios who passed away last year from a colon infection caused by a pancreatic tumor, and the “person who hired me [Peter] at Pixar 23 years ago.” Sohn shares that they snuck “a little bit of something into the film” in memory of Eggleston, who was “a mentor and a friend.” The exact details of the Easter Egg in Eggleston’s memory were not revealed during the interview, but fans can keep an eye out when the film is released this summer.
Pixar’s Elemental Trailer Easter Eggs
Pixar released the first trailer and teaser trailer for Elemental last month, where some Easter Eggs were spotted by die-hard fans. One of the big Easter Eggs revealed, which has also been seen in films like Toy Story (on a license plate) and Finding Nemo (on part of a camera), is a shout-out to A113. A113 was the number of a classroom at the California Institute of the Arts, where many of Pixar’s directors and animators studied. This Easter Egg isn’t that surprising, considering A113 appears in every Pixar film. In Elemental, filmmakers buried this Easter Egg a bit with science. In the trailer, on Ember’s subway, there is a sign that reads ‘Now Approaching Elemental City’ and under it are the symbols A, AH, and Al. Using the periodic table, where hydrogen (symbol H) is the first element on the table (1,) and aluminum is the thirteenth (13), this decodes into A113.
Pixar’s Elemental trailer also revealed cloud figures among the floating objects Ember sees when she enters the train. These cloud-like figures resemble the clouds from the 2009 Pixar short, Partly Cloudy, which was written and directed by Peter Sohn. Sohn shares how the short was instrumental to him in developing the air characters: “I love the weather, I love nature, and that concept of an air character was just something that I thought hadn’t been animated before. We didn’t have the technology at that time to really get that quality, but we do now. And so it was really trying to anthropomorphize air. We had designs that were more wispy and clear, but these sort of puffy characters really came to life with our team, and yeah, I love them.