Pixar’s latest feature film, Elemental, transports viewers to the vibrant world of Element City, a place where Fire-, Water-, Earth- and Air-residents live together. 

The story follows Ember, a tough, quick-witted Fire element, and Wade, a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow Water element. As Ember tries to find her place and set herself on the path to her future, Wade comes along to challenge the way she sees the world and encourage her to embrace her dreams.

During the official press conference for Elemental, the film’s lead actors quickly answered the question on everyone’s minds: what elements do they themselves embody?

“You know, I’ve been going with Earth for a while, just because I gravitate towards earthy things in my real life,” said Leah Lewis, voice of Fire element Ember in Elemental. “But I feel like being Water looks so fun. Like maybe I would be a Water person who would hope to be invited into the Earth part of Element City… but no, water looks thrilling.”

Interestingly enough, Mamoudou Athie, who voices Water element Wade in the movie, identifies with Fire.

“I think I’m closest – at least currently – to fire. I’d like to be more like water. You know, Air seems like they have the easiest time in Element City. They just kind of do whatever they want. You know what I mean?” Athie said. “But there’s something really sweet about Water. I mean, I also am very transparent. Everybody knows exactly how I feel about them at all times. So I feel like a little blend of fire and water.”

Welcome to Element City: Elemental

Lewis also said that even though she identifies more strongly with Earth and Water herself, she has enough Fire in her to relate to and admire Ember.

“Even though we kind of see her as really guarded, I think that she’s just a bit fearful to step out into the world and see what these other elements have to offer, ’cause she’s kind of only known one thing in her life,” said Lewis. “And she’s so loyal to her family and the things that mean the most to her. I think that’s a really admirable quality that I also kind of follow suit with. You know, the things that I really care about, I would go to the ends of the earth to fight for.”

Diving beyond the elements themselves, THS also asked the creative team about their favorite animation details from Elemental.

Producer Denise Ream teased a classic: the Pixar Easter egg.

“I do love that we have a little bit of an Easter egg for the following movie that comes after us, called Elio. And we worked really hard to put one of the characters in that movie. And so that’s a really fun little detail that every time I see it, I smile.”

Elio will be Pixar’s next animated feature, following a young boy who accidentally finds himself beamed up by aliens and serving as Earth’s official ambassador. 

While you’re trying to spot that Easter egg, Elemental director Peter Sohn also has a recommendation: catch the movie in 3D.

“I think the details that were exposed in the 3D have been really exciting for me,” Sohn said of his favorite animation detail. “Like, Ember’s fire in 3D is a whole new thing because she’s transparent, but when she moves her head, all of that transparency starts to parallax and give you a depth that we didn’t see when we were working in the 2D version. Check it out in 3D, you’ll be really mesmerized by the effects that we have on these characters.”

You can take your own trip to Element City (in 3D or otherwise) now. Elemental is currently in theaters.

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