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Elemental ending explained

Pixar's new movie is as emotional as we have come to expect from its best animated movies. So let's delve into the joy and the tears of the Elemental ending.

What happens in the Elemental ending? Pixar loves to tug at our heartstrings, delivering some of the most emotionally poignant – and, let’s face it, heart-breaking – stories in modern cinema. We’ve still not recovered from the beginning of Up, and it has been 14 years.

Elemental is no different in embracing the absolute power of clawing at our hearts, channelling the best rom-coms for one of the most charming new movies of 2023 so far. It ranks among the best Pixar movies of recent years, and may yet win a place near the summit of the studio’s formidable canon of the best animated movies ever made.

So, there’s a lot to talk about. We’ve dug deep into the emotional events of the Elemental ending, in order to make sure you’re all set if an Elemental 2 release date does come around. There are massive spoilers ahead here, of course, but you can read our spoiler-free Elemental review instead, if you’re on the fence about seeing Pixar‘s latest.

What happens in the Elemental ending?

Elemental ends with Wade saving Ember’s life amid the destruction of Firetown, with the couple subsequently leaving the city together to pursue her dream of being a glass-maker.

The Elemental plot follows the unlikely romance between fire element Ember (Leah Lewis) and water element Wade (Mamoudou Athie), as well as her journey into realizing she doesn’t actually want to run the family shop.

Leah Lewis voices Ember in the Pixar movie Elemental

Though Ember and Wade bond in the early part of the movie, their relationship is damaged when Wade inadvertently reveals to the people of Firetown that Ember’s temper was responsible for the plumbing disaster that has condemned the shop.

In the wake of the confrontation, Ember flees to the center of Element City and sees that the glass barrier she had built to keep water away from Firetown has burst. She rushes to warn the people of Firetown about the coming flood and protect the blue flame, which represents her family’s traditions. Wade arrives to help her and they both become trapped in the crumbling shop building.

Wade’s body begins to evaporate in the heat, but Ember can’t let a torrent of water in to save him. They pledge their love to each other, and then we see Ember alone in the rubble with the blue flame, following Wade’s sacrifice. Cue the tears.

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Ember reconciles with her family in the wake of the disaster and admits that she doesn’t want to take over the shop. Her father says that the shop is ultimately unimportant compared to her being able to live the life she wants.

During this tender exchange, the family hears the unmistakeable sound of Wade crying. It turns out he has survived by seeping into the ceiling, and Ember is able to bring him out into his normal form. They share their first kiss.

Months later, regular customers have taken over the shop and Wade and Ember are ready to leave the city so that she can pursue her dream, artistic career as a glass-maker. Ember performs the traditional huge bow of the fire elements to her father, who reciprocates in a warm sign of mutual respect.

The Elemental cast represents all four classical elements

So that’s it, a typically emotional conclusion to one of the best movies of the year for fans of chemistry-based romance tales. OK, so it might be the only one, but we promise it’s delightful.

For more on the world of Elemental, find out if there’s an Elemental post-credit scene and whether there’s a Pixar short before Elemental. We’ve also explained why Elemental never stood a chance at the box office, despite being loads of fun.

We’ve also got guides to the future movies from Pixar, including the Inside Out 2 release date and the Toy Story 5 release date. Alternatively, find out about the horror movie references you’ve forgotten were in Toy Story 3.