ELEMENTAL – Review by Susan Granger

After opening in theaters this summer, Pixar’s animated, family-friendly Elemental is now available on Disney+. Posing the question: what happens when a woman made of fire falls in love with a man made of water? In Element City, where anthropomorphic fire, water, land and air residents live in different neighborhoods, fiery Ember Lumen (voiced by Leah Lewis) is a spunky, clever young woman whose friendship with laid-back, aqueous building-inspector Wade Ripple challenges what she’s been taught: namely, “elements don’t mix.”

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10 International Animated Films That Showcase World Cultures – Dana Ziyasheva reports (Guest Post)

The United States has always been a culturally diverse country, and it will become even more so in the future. In 2019, more than half of Americans under age 16 identified as a racial or ethnic minority for the first time – so not really a minority after all! Young audiences want to relate to what they’re watching, explore their heritage, and learn about their friends’ cultural background. And Hollywood has started to take notice: Moana, Mulan, Coco, and Encanto added ethnic diversity to Disney/Pixar’s time-tested formula, with action-packed, broad-stroke narratives centered on their title characters’ identity search.

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LIGHTYEAR – Review by Susan Granger

It’s rare that Disney/Pixar movies incite controversy but Lightyear, a Toy Story origin story, certainly has. The great kerfuffle revolves around a brief, same-gender kiss that was removed and then reinstated when Pixar employees said Disney was censoring “overtly gay affection” as Disney CEO Bob Chapek reacted to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.

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LIGHTYEAR – Review by T.J. Callahan

Lightyear: Come with a Buzz and you’ll leave with a smile. Lightyear is a prequel, of sorts, to Toy Story. Think of it as the movie Andy watched that made Buzz Lightyear his hero and inspired hia favorite doll. This is NOT a Toy Story movie. Even though they are animated, the characters in the film aren’t toys, but Space Rangers trying to get back to their planet after a mission mishap that took them to infinity and beyond.

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