Pixar’s Latest Movie Is About To Break A Terrible Record

Pixar's Elemental hasn't even hit theaters yet, but it already has the second-lowest Pixar movie rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

pixar elemental

Pixar’s new film Elemental isn’t out yet, and it’s already on track to break records—unfortunately, not the good kind. Elemental currently has a dismal 56 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the second lowest rating of all the Pixar movies, with the exception of Cars 2. That’s out of nine reviews so far, meaning that as the movie’s release date of June 16 draws closer, the score is bound to change, possibly for the worse.

Elemental follows Wade, a being made of water, and Ember, a being made of—you guessed it—fire, as they develop a relationship in a city full of living elements. The premise almost seems like a parody of a Pixar film where instead of anthropomorphizing a toy or a fish or even the feelings inside the human brain, the creative team just decided to glue faces on clumps of dirt and gusts of wind and call it a day.

Elemental‘s inevitable box office failure—sorry, possible box office failure—comes on the heels of Disney‘s recent financial disappointments, Lightyear and Strange World. The former was a fellow Pixar endeavor meaning the studio could potentially have two bombs in a row. A far cry from the days when every new Pixar movie was an event, a perfect melding of computer animation and heart that its competitors couldn’t match.

Early CG family films like Shrek looking to challenge Pixar did so using cheap, lowbrow humor and adult jokes meant to fly over the heads of the children in the audience and hopefully amuse the adults they dragged kicking and screaming to the theater. What Pixar accomplished with pure wonder and sheer creativity, competitors like DreamWorks had to use gross-out gags and celebrity voices to achieve—just assume we’re talking about Shrek anytime we mention a non-Pixar movie.

pixar elemental

To be fair, Disney and Pixar are still more than capable of creating instant classics. Soul, Luca, Turning Red, and Encanto are all bangers. The problem with Pixar is that uninspired sequels like Cars 2, prequels like Monsters University, and spinoffs like Lightyear cheapen their brand. Disney, meanwhile, can’t be bothered to market movies like Strange World, so they fade into obscurity almost as soon as they’re released.

Added to Disney’s theatrical financial woes is the current political battle they’re fighting against conservatives and Florida Governor Ron Desantis and the questionable optics of laying off thousands of employees recently. In short, for the first time in over half a century, the House of Mouse doesn’t look like the same unimpeachable entertainment monolith it once did.

Of course, Elemental could surprise everyone and be a big hit. Instead of being just another nail in Disney’s coffin, the animated movie could serve as the defibrillator needed to jolt Pixar and Disney back to life. It’s no secret that the mouse-eared conglomerate could use a win right about now. In the unlikely event that Disney does go down, Pixar itself will likely survive.

Pixar has gone from part of Lucasfilm to part of Apple, to an independent studio that just happens to work exclusively for Disney, to a Disney-owned entity entirely. Like a cockroach, Pixar is practically unkillable. Say, there’s an idea for a Pixar movie: anthropomorphic cockroaches!