Who Is the Villain in Disney Pixar’s ‘Elemental’? The Plot Explained

Ember in Pixars Elemental

Must a hero always have an antagonist? That has been the big conflict in many Pixar movies in recent years, and Elemental isn’t any different. The beautiful animation and action-packed plot earned Pixar’s Elemental a big following in the theaters. However, many fans still wonder where the conflict in Wade and Ember’s love story is and who the villain is in Pixar’s Elemental.

While Gale appeared to be the bad guy at the beginning, it was revealed that he had nothing sinister against Element City or Ember and Wade. The idea of the villain in the film becomes fluid from that moment as Ember’s biggest enemy is revealed to be her inner conflict. Her father’s ambitions that don’t consider her feelings also play a part in creating problems for her.

The creators had multiple ideas that included villains, including one that would see a supervillain named Drip who tries to take over the city, although it was dismissed. Wade’s mother, Brook Ripple, was also considered as a villain by the creators, but that approach was also dismissed during production. Fans still believe that an old-school, all-out bad guy would have spiced up the plot, but one of the movie’s good guys probably is exactly that, so let’s look into it.

What is Pixar’s Elemental about?

Wade Ember and Brook in Elemental

Pixar’s Elemental follows the family of fire elements Bernie and Cinder Lumen, who move to element city to rebuild their lives after storms destroy their hometown.

They have a daughter Ember, whom they hope will inherit their store after they retire, but they haven’t considered her feelings regarding taking over the family business.

Despite trying her best to prove to her father that she can run the family business and make the family proud, deep inside, Ember wants to pursue a career in glassmaking.

One day, after being frustrated while serving customers, Ember runs to the store’s basement and damages a water pipe in her outburst, causing the place to flood.

The leakage catches the attention of city inspector Wade Ripple, a water element, who comes to inspect and finds violations in the plumbing that he goes to report to city hall despite Ember’s pleas.


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Wade feels sorry for Ember and summons his boss Gale to a meeting, begging him to be lenient. He also explains that the leakage may not entirely be her fault since he was investigating flooding all over the city when he came across Ember’s case.

Gale tells Wade and Ember that the violations would be forgiven if they discover and fix the cause of the citywide leakages. Wade and Ember work together to find a hole in the dam that causes water to leak.

A bond is formed between Ember and Wade, and they have strong feelings for each other despite having different backgrounds and being unable to touch since they are fire and water.

After fixing the leakages, Wade and Ember end up going on a date, and despite having mutual feelings for each other, Ember is unsure about the relationship, which breaks Wade’s heart.

Eventually, a strong romance blossoms between the two after Wade helps Ember solve her inner conflict, and Ember’s father is forced to comply with his daughter’s ambitions.

Who is the main antagonist in Elemental?

Bernie and Rook in Elemental

Despite plans to include a villain by the creators the decision was scrapped as they decided to focus on Wade and Ember’s love story.

Therefore, Ember’s father, Bernie, ends up being the movie’s unintentional antagonist because his ambitions put pressure on Ember, leading to the whole conflict.

The creators didn’t always plan on a love story without an antagonist, as they confirmed in multiple interviews.

“Well, there was a version where Wade’s mother was an antagonist. … Wade’s mother was part of a powerful family that controlled the water flow, and they wanted to put water, like a canal, through fire town. But Bernie had stopped it from happening.”

Elemental’s writer John Hoberg said in an interview.


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He said none of the creators warmed up to the idea, and it was eventually scrapped, allowing a pure love story to take center stage.

According to the director, the initial plan was to make the Elemental Universe villain Drip part of the movie as a huge threat to the city, but that wasn’t taken up either.

“This film took so many different versions, you know? We had a villain named Drip, who was trying to take over the city. And when we showed that version, everyone was like, ‘Oh, we miss the connection between fire and water.”

Pete Sohn, who directs the movie, told Cinemablend.

Will there be Elemental 2?

Ember and Wadeon a date

Disney has yet to officially confirm Elemental’s renewal for a sequel or even a prequel.

However, most of Pixar’s biggest Box Office hits, including Toy Story, Cars, and Finding Nemo, were renewed, so Elemental might stand a chance if it performs well on the big screen.

Despite receiving praise from many fans, Elemental has also received its fair share of criticism, and it is not considered a big hit in cinemas a week into its release.

Ember and Wade’s love story still needs a real test, which can only happen if a real villain comes into the picture, so a sequel would be a welcome addition.

Fans would also love the chance to watch Bernie’s story before he moved to Element City.

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