We’re just a few days away from the release of Pixar’s latest animated movie, Elemental, but the studio is already teasing its next project. On Tuesday, Pixar shared a teaser trailer for Elio, which is about a young boy who is mistaken for the leader of Earth and abducted by an interplanetary council of aliens. The first trailer is both hilarious and adorable.
There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Elio, but at the top of the list is its director. Adrian Molina, screenwriter and co-director of Coco, is writing and directing this space-faring adventure. For my money, Coco is the best movie that Pixar has released since 2017 (although some have gotten close, especially Turning Red and Luca).
If Coco was anything to go by, Molina understands Pixar’s formula as well as anyone working at the studio today. Populating a vibrant, energetic world with deeply relatable characters was once second nature to Pixar, but some fans (myself included) would argue that it has lost its touch in recent years. Can Elio be a return to form for the studio?
That’s a lot of pressure to put on Molina, but following the lukewarm reception to Elemental from critics, Pixar needs a home run. Here’s hoping that Elio can serve as a reset for the beloved film studio that once dominated the American animation scene.
Of course, the critics don’t always get it right, and I’m still intrigued by Elemental, which comes to theaters this Friday, June 16. Peter Sohn’s first Pixar movie, The Good Dinosaur, wasn’t exactly a smash hit, but he’s been with the studio for two decades. It’s encouraging to see him get another turn in the director’s chair with Elemental.