Pixar’s ELEMENTAL is now in theatres. It’s such a fun lighthearted movie with great messaging. During the recent global press day for ELEMENTAL, Mamoudou Athie, the voice of “Wade Ripple,” shared what it’s like to voice a Pixar character.
Mamoudou Athie Talks Voicing Elemental’s Wade Ripple
During the recent global press day for ELEMENTAL, Mamoudou Athie, the voice of “Wade Ripple,” shared what it was like to voice a Pixar character, some of his favorite moments, and more.
“Honestly, it really was a dream come true. I mean, it still is,” Mamoudou Athie said.
“But getting into the booth, it’s kind of hard to quantify into one moment that was like extra special because it was all like just—I’m old enough now to really appreciate, like a good thing as it’s happening, you know?”
“So I really was just able to, like, soak it in every time I got to work with Denise [Ream] and Pete [Sohn] and John [Hoberg] and Kat [Likkel]. And I mean, you know, met the animators later and you know, you see their work and you don’t [laugh]—it’s hard. It’s really hard to comprehend what they did. Because, I mean, I have no—I’m a Luddite completely. So it’s all like, you know, like, just magic to me,” Athie said.
“There was an installation in New York City. I think it was back in the 90s or early 2000s. And there were these quotes on these movie marquees, like in Times Square. And one of them, my teacher…put it on a program of a play he directed. And it said, “It is in your self-interest to find a way to be very tender.”
“And that…struck like the through lines of not only this character that I got to play but this movie, you know. Like, there’s an open-heartedness that really, I just find so moving.”
I just couldn’t wait to get to inhabit that world every time I got to go into the studio. And I’m really like, you know, it’s starting to hit me now. ‘Wait, hold on, we won’t—that’s it’?”
“It’s bumming me out a little bit. But I still have to stay in the moment. The movie gets to come out. People get to enjoy it, enjoy, like, Pete and Denise’s 7 years of hard work, all these animators. It’s really just a dream come true. But that line has really been like a through line for this character and this project,” Athie said.
ELEMENTAL is an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where Fire-, Water-, Earth- and Air-residents live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted, and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. Directed by Peter Sohn, produced by Denise Ream, p.g.a., and executive produced by Pete Docter, ELEMENTAL features a screenplay by John Hoberg & Kat Likkel and Brenda Hsueh with story by Sohn, Hoberg & Likkel and Hsueh. The film’s original score was composed and conducted by Thomas Newman.
Runtime: 103 minutes
Director: Peter Sohn
Executive Producer: Pete Docter
Producer: Denise Ream, p.g.a.
Associate Producers: Krissy Cababa, Becky Neiman-Cobb
Screenplay: John Hoberg, Kat Likkel, Brenda Hsueh
Story by: Peter Sohn, John Hoberg, Kat Likkel
Original Score: Thomas Newman
Cast: Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie Del Carmen, Shila Ommi, Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Catherine O’Hara, Mason Wertheimer, Ronobir Lahiri, Wilma Bonet, Joe Pera, Matt Yang King, Clara Linding, Regan To, Jeff Lapensee, Ben Morris, Jonathan Adams, Alex Kapp, P.L. Brown
ELEMENTAL is now in theaters. Pixar short “Carl’s Date” plays before it.
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