Pixar's Elemental Becomes Lowest-Rated Original Movie In Studio History on Rotten Tomatoes

By Savannah Sanders Posted:
Pixar Elemental Disney movies

Pixar's Elemental just broke a studio record on Rotten Tomatoes.

Set to release on June 16 and directed by The Good Dinosaur's Peter Sohn, Elemental follows the fiery Ember and fluid Wade, two opposite elements who fall in love in Element City.

Ahead of its theatrical debut, Disney and Pixar screened Elemental at the Cannes Film Festival, resulting in mixed early reviews and a record-breaking rating just like Lucasfilm's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Elemental Makes Pixar History on Rotten Tomatoes

Elemental fire and water

In the wake of Elemental's debut at Cannes, Pixar's twenty-seventh film currently has a 57% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is the lowest score for a Pixar film that's not a sequel or from an established franchise to date.

While critics noted Elemental's creativity, heart, and stunning visuals, all of which are Pixar trademarks, they also described the film as "heavy-handed" and a "misfire."

Even the 'fresh' reviews suggested the film wasn't top-caliber Pixar. 

For comparison, the following is a list of Pixar's lowest-rated films according to Rotten Tomatoes:

  • A Bug's Life: 92%
  • Luca: 91%
  • Onward: 88%
  • Monsters University: 80%
  • Brave: 79%
  • The Good Dinosaur: 75%
  • Lightyear: 74%
  • Cars: 75%
  • Cars 3: 68%
  • Cars 2: 40%

It's important to note that Elemental's current rating is the result of only seven reviews and is expected to fluctuate in the coming weeks.

Is Elemental Too Elementary For Pixar Fans?

Yes, it's true that Elemental's current rating is the result of only a handful of reviews; and yes, Rotten Tomatoes has long been controversial means of evaluating a film. 

However, this number is still worth paying attention to as it's a Pixar first, as well as the film's first critical impression. 

While audiences will gain a clearer picture of Elemental's critic response in the near future, these first reviews suggest the film lives up to Pixar's standard of clever visuals but fails to deliver that originality within the story itself.

Coming out of Cannes, it will be interesting to see how Disney and Pixar choose to market the film and how general audiences will respond upon its theatrical debut.

Elemental arrives in theaters on June 16.

- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.