Elemental 4K Ultra HD SteelBook

Featured In Issue 269, September/October 2023

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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Some peril, thematic elements, and brief language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Peter Sohn
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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“Elemental” is an original animated feature set in Element City, where residents of Fire, Water, Earth and Air live together. The story introduces Ember (Leah Lewis), a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade (Mamoudou Athie) challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. (Gary Reber)

Special features include filmmaker commentary, the short film "Carl’s Date" (HD 07:49), the featurettes "Ember and Wade" (HD 10:14) and "Next Stop: Element City" (HD 10:13), three deleted scenes (HD 10:43) and a Anywhere digital copy.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was animated digitally and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. The color palette jumps off the screen with intense vividness and bright hues. There is every color in the rainbow and do they ever shine, especially the fire people with their fire-orange hues and the water people with their softer bluish and greenish hues. The rest of Elemental City occupants are earth people and fluffy air people. The city structures exhibit a multitude of color along with the storefront signage. The entire color spectrum reveals incredibly nuanced hue shading. HDR contrast is superb with extremely bright white levels, deep blacks and revealing shadows exhibited in the night and tunnel scenes. Resolution is excellent with fine textural detail throughout. The animation is unusual but visually impressive. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack exhibits good fidelity and features a wonderful orchestral/choral score that sweeps through the soundfield with excellent surround envelopment and a wide and deep soundstage. Of course dialogue is the focus and the ADR production works well and is intelligible throughout. Foley sound effects are supportive. Sound effects sound realistic and enhance the character characteristics and the action scenes such as the levy break and flooding of Firetown.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of very brief sporadic and low level music and very few sound effects. Ember's temper, a couple seconds crowd roar, water bubbling, crashing sounds and other minor effects pretty much amount to the height layer. This is a disappointment as virtually nothing significant was placed in the height layer.

This is a well crafted ear-level holosonic® soundtrack sans an effectively dimensional height layer that is pleasing. (Gary Reber)