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Pixar’s Korean American director says ‘Elemental’ based on personal experience

SINGAPORE– Peter Sohn, a director at Pixar Animation Studios, said Wednesday the upcoming film “Elemental” is inspired by his own childhood in New York with parents who had emigrated from South Korea and made sacrifices for their family.

Sohn introduced Pixar’s 27th computer-animated project and his second feature film during Disney Content Showcase held in Singapore, along with its footage, concept art and logo.

The heartwarming fantasy story features four elements — fire, water, land and air — living in a bustling bayside city connected by bridges. The fiery young woman Ember and the go-with-the-flow Wade are central characters, and the unlikely pair discovers they have something in common.
Sohn said the movie is ultimately a love story of different personalities and hoped viewers would relate it to their own experiences.

“The film is about our differences that bring us together, but it is a love story,” Sohn said during the press event held at Marina Bay Sands. “Hopefully, the audiences will get a deeper understanding of the loss in their lives between the partners, the friends or family.”

The director said the movie is based on his childhood in New York City, where his Korean parents started with a new life in the 1970s “with nothing” and sacrificed for the hopes of their family.

“That is a huge thing working along with my parents in the making of this thing. So it’s all about trying to honor our parents,” he said.

Sohn has worked as Pixar’s animator, voice actor and storyboard artist since 2000 for several projects, including “Finding Nemo” (2003) and “The Incredibles” (2004), and debuted as a director with “The Good Dinosaur” (2015).

“Elemental” is scheduled to be released on June 16th, 2023, Father’s Day weekend in the United States.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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