Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Elemental!
- Wade and Ember’s relationship reaches its climax as they save each other and Firetown from a devastating flood, leading to a major turning point in their relationship.
- Wade is brought back to life after evaporating through the power of Ember’s tears, showcasing the significance of emotions and their role in saving lives.
- Elemental’s ending sets up the possibility of a sequel as Wade and Ember leave Element City together to pursue new adventures, potentially bringing new environments and characters into the story.
Pixar returns with another original story, and Elemental‘s ending is filled with emotion and potential sequel setup. The 27th movie from the acclaimed animated studio comes from director Peter Sohn and revolves around two residents of Element City, Ember Lumen and Wade Ripple. Elemental‘s story focuses on Ember, a hot-headed Fire person who has grown up under the expectation that she will take over her dad’s shop, and how her perspective on life and herself changes after meeting Wade, an emotional Water person who works as a city inspector. A chance encounter leads to Ember and Wade forming an unlikely connection and relationship as the leads of Elemental‘s cast.
The main conflicts for Wade and Ember in Elemental revolve around stopping water from coming to Firetown, which keeps making The Fireplace’s pipes burst, and attempting to keep their feelings and interactions a secret from Ember’s family. These two plots come to a head when their temporary fix for the water problem backfires and Ember’s father Bernie learns that she’s been seeing a Water person. It leads to a dramatic finale where Firetown and the Lumen family legacy are endangered, leaving Ember and Wade in a position to save the town and each other. Here is a full breakdown of Elemental‘s ending, sequel setup, and what it means.
Wade & Ember Save Each Other In Elemental’s Ending
The final main sequence in Elemental‘s ending revolves around Wade and Ember reuniting to save each other and Firetown. After their glass barrier holding back overflow water breaks, a giant flood comes for Firetown, which causes great damage and risks extinguishing any Fire people who do not get to safety. The water comes right for The Fireplace, putting Ember in a position where she tries to protect the shop and the family’s blue flame. She struggles to do this on her own, but thankfully Wade comes to her aid. He helps protect her from the flooding and transfers the blue flame to a lamp so it keeps burning.
The only downside to Wade’s heroics is it leaves him and Ember trapped in a small room with little circulation or a way to escape. That means Ember’s heat causes the space to heat up quickly and makes Wade begin to evaporate. The good news is that Ember is ultimately responsible for helping save Wade after it appears he has died for good. This allows Wade and Ember to finally be together and willing to express their feelings. Elemental‘s ending shows them kiss, marking a major turning point in their relationship that allows them to be in each other’s lives to embark on new adventures.
The Significance Of Wade Saving Ember’s Family’s Blue Flame
Wade’s heroics of saving Ember’s family’s blue flame has a very important meaning in Elemental. Bernie explains earlier in the movie that the blue flame holds their traditions and gives them “the strength to burn bright.” It is also a representation of the connection the Lumen family has to the Fireland home that Bernie and Cinder left behind to travel to Element City. The movie reveals that Bernie’s father did not approve of this move, leaving the family otherwise cut off from their homeland. The blue flame represents the last connection they have to their heritage, which is why Wade’s ability to keep it burning is so significant.
How Wade Comes Back After Evaporating
The death of a major character might make some question if Elemental is suitable for kids, but the movie’s ending brings Wade back to life to ensure that it does not end on such a bleak note. Wade comes back to life after evaporating when Ember realizes that his leftover moisture is still capable of crying. The movie makes a point of showing how easy it is for Water people to cry, but Elemental‘s ending allows their emotions to help save Wade. This at first comes through an accident as Ember mourns Wade’s death, but what she says makes Wade’s moisture form a tear.
Upon this realization, Ember begins to repeat the scenarios that Wade used on her during the Crying Game to try and make her cry. This includes Ember talking about butterflies, an old man on his deathbed, and professing that she loves Wade. Ember’s parents join in on the emotional moment too, as her mom says they are a 10 out of 10 couple and her dad makes Wade not banned from The Fireplace. The amount of tears that form in a bucket on the floor gives Wade enough water to come back to life.
Everything That Happens During Elemental’s Time Jump
There is a small time jump in the movie’s ending that helps progress the characters and Elemental‘s world in some significant ways. During the months that pass between scenes, Bernie Lumen finally decides to retire from running The Fireplace. He and Cinder are shown relaxing and enjoying the retirement life while still hanging out at The Fireplace. Now under new ownership, the Firetown location has grown in popularity thanks to it being more welcoming to other types of elements, as evident by all elements shopping there. It is no longer a hub for fire elements alone but a communal spot for all in Element City.
The other significant development that comes during Elemental‘s time jump is with Wade and Ember. Their relationship has blossomed after they saved each other and the city, with both of their families being accepting and supportive of them. The couple gets serious enough that they agree to travel the world together and finally go beyond Element City as part of Ember’s new internship. This suggests how strong their romance has developed in a relatively short amount of time.
The Significance of Ember & Her Dad’s Big Bows
After a brief time jump that allows the characters’ lives to progress in various ways, Elemental‘s ending shows a heartfelt goodbye between Ember and her parents as she prepares to leave Element City. This includes Ember stopping from getting on the boat and turning around to perform the Big Bow to her dad. He returns the favor by doing the gesture back at his daughter. Bernie previously explains that the Big Bow is the highest form of respect for Fire people. The Big Bow between Ember and Bernie is a huge deal, as it finally shows that they share a respect for one another and accept who they are.
The Big Bow in Elemental‘s ending is made even more significant based on Bernie’s past. He tells Ember the story of what happened when he and Cinder left Fireland years ago to come to Element City. This included Bernie performing the Big Bow to his father as they prepared to leave. However, Bernie’s dad did not return the gesture, leaving him devastated. It indicated that Bernie’s dad did not agree with his decision to leave home and do what was best for Bernie and Cinder’s family. Instead of repeating that error, Bernie giving Ember the Big Bow is an acknowledgment that he understands why she is leaving.
Where Wade & Ember Go In Elemental’s Ending: Sequel Setup Explained
Pixar appears to set up or at least leave the door open for Elemental 2 thanks to Elemental‘s ending showing Wade and Ember leave Element City. They are leaving their homes together because Ember accepted an internship with a glass designer that Wade’s mom helped set up. Ember says that the internship is far away and will last for a few months, meaning she will return to Element City and her parents eventually. However, her immediate future lies with going to a new city to pursue her newfound dreams of using her glass design talents. She will not be alone either, as Wade is accompanying her on this adventure.
Even without confirming that Elemental 2 is happening, where Wade and Ember go in Elemental‘s ending is the perfect sequel setup. The new movie is already positioned to still follow Ember and Wade’s relationship, but now they will have to navigate a new city and circumstances. This would be a great way for the Elemental story to continue and bring a completely new type of environment to the screen. The place that Wade and Ember are going could more prominently feature Land and Air people, especially as Ember learns more about glass design. A new location and characters could help an Elemental sequel stand out.
Is Firetown Safe From Water Again?
One plot point that is not resolved before Elemental‘s post-credits is whether Firetown is safe from water and floods again. Ember and Wade’s repair breaks in the third act, causing the massive flood, but there is never any follow-up to what happened to the water overflow location after. Even though Elemental does not directly show workers repairing the location, Gale Cumulus shopping at The Fireplace is a good sign that everything is fixed. She knows that the overflow was the problem thanks to Ember and Wade, so she should have ordered the city to fix the damage to keep Firetown safe moving forward and prevent additional floods.
The Real Meaning Of Elemental’s Ending
Pixar’s Elemental is loaded with meaningful themes that all connect by the time the credits roll. It is at its core a story about immigrants and how they are viewed in society, as well as the familial pressures and expectations that can come. Ember’s journey to discover who she really is and what she wants to do with her life is the key meaning of Elemental‘s ending. She admits that she does not want to run The Fireplace and has dreams of her own and fears that this means ruining her father’s dream. However, he admits that The Fireplace was never his dream, raising a daughter like Ember was.
The other part of Elemental‘s ending’s meaning is acceptance. This can be seen in everything from how Bernie accepts Ember’s dreams to become a glass designer to everyone accepting that Ember and Wade make for a great couple. Pixar’s movie is about people accepting who they are and who others are, and how doing so can help create closer relationships regardless of backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, and more.