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Why Ember From Pixar's Elemental Sounds So Familiar

Pixar's "Elemental" is lighting up the fanbase in all the right ways. Between its strikingly colorful animation, its imaginative world full of elemental beings, and its heartwarming plot, there's a lot to love about the film among Pixar fans — even if its elemental focus has landed it more than a couple of comparisons to "Avatar: The Last Airbender," and, oddly enough, an old browser game from Coolmath Games.

Particular attention has also been brought to the film's two main characters: Wade, a laid-back water elemental portrayed by Mamoudou Athie, and Ember, a quick-witted fire elemental played by Leah Lewis. The pair's personalities bounce off of one another in some fun ways, but fans might be particularly intrigued by Lewis' performance for sounding extremely familiar. As it happens, the actress has also appeared in quite a few notable TV shows and movies ranging from kid-friendly fun all the way to sinister murder mysteries.

Fred 3: Camp Fred (2012)

Starting out the list of credit highlights for Leah Lewis, we have a movie that adult members of Gen Z are more likely to remember than pretty much anyone else: "Fred 3: Camp Fred." As one might guess from its title, this 2012 kids film features Lucas Cruikshank as Fred, a character who rose to online prominence through several viral internet videos. "Fred 3: Camp Fred" sticks to the original "Fred" formula, seeing the titular hyperactive child with a ludicrously pitched-up voice get into all sorts of inane antics when he heads off to summer camp.

For her part in the project, Lewis portrays Spoon, a young girl who becomes one of Fred's acquaintances at Camp Iwannapeepee (let's just keep moving forward, shall we?). Spoon, along with many of the other campers, is dejected by their numerous losses to Camp Superior during the two camps' annual summer competition. It takes Fred doing...whatever Fred does to lift up the spirits of Spoon and the others, proving to them that they can still have a fun time at camp. Yippee.

Lewis' appearance in "Fred 3: Camp Fred" is a bit of a dubious honor, considering that both the film and the greater franchise it's a part of have received plenty of notoriety and negative reception. Still, appearing in a relatively well-established film series is commendable, and Lewis would emulate that feat later on with more beloved properties.

Light as a Feather (2018)

In a fairly massive leap from the previous entry, Leah Lewis' next credit-of-note saw her entering the world of bingeworthy horror shows. The actress guest starred on an episode of Hulu's "Light as a Feather," a thriller series which follows a group of teenagers who learn that they're mysteriously getting killed one-by-one by a curse after playing a game of "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board."

There's a lot of moving parts in the show's first season, but one of the most intriguing mystery boxes is Violet (Haley Ramm). She's already managed to survive the game's curse once before, though as we learn in flashbacks, some of her old friends weren't so lucky. Lewis appears in Season 1, Episode 9 as Gabby Darwish, the leader of Violet's original game that cursed both her and Marc (Alex Lange). Marc kills Gabby to try and save Violet from the curse, but as the main plot of the show reveals, things only get much more complicated from there.

The Good Doctor (2018)

Within a few days of her appearance on "Light as a Feather," Leah Lewis also appeared on ABC's "The Good Doctor," where she faced yet more mortal peril. The medical drama features Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, an extremely gifted surgeon with autism, as he works through difficult cases and attempts to save lives. As you can guess, Lewis' appearance comes as part of one of these difficult cases.

In Season 2, Episode 4, Lewis portrays Kitty, a young rock climber who finds her way into Murphy's hospital after sustaining some distressing injuries. Kitty gets into conflict with her parents, as the two parties disagree on which surgery she should undergo: a dangerous one that might help her make a full recovery or a safe one that could leave her disabled for the rest of her life. While many other medical dramas might feature some sort of touching resolution to this sort of conflict, "The Good Doctor" isn't as inclined to wrap everything up in a nice bow. Kitty cuts off her parents entirely, putting a melancholy punctuation on the episode.

Charmed (2018)

Moving back into supernatural territory, Leah Lewis recurred for several early episodes of the 2018 "Charmed" reboot on The CW. The series stars Melonie Diaz, Madeleine Mantock, and Sarah Jeffery as three sisters — Mel, Macy, and Maggie, respectively. Together, they embark on a journey to harness and master their powers as witches in order to protect the world from evil.

Lewis plays Angela Wu, an innocent college girl that gets swept up into a frightening case of demonic possession in the show's first couple of episodes. After accusing of one of her professors of sexual harrassment, Wu falls into a coma. As Maggie and her sisters soon learn, Wu has become possessed by a powerful demon that begins to prey on more innocent victims. The girl's dilemma marks one of the first cases in the series that really puts the central trio's new suite of powers to the test. Thankfully, they're able to resolve the situation relatively neatly, expelling the demon from Wu's body and saving her life. Suffice it to say, it's a far better fate for Lewis' character than in "Light as a Feather."

Station 19 (2018)

As many a "Station 19" fan will tell you, the firefighter drama series has no qualms about killing off characters left and right, whether they're major players or small guest stars. After all, this is the sister show to "Grey's Anatomy," a series that gets antsy if there hasn't been a frustrating character death for the past five minutes. As it happens, Lewis had a minor recurring role in Season 2 of "Station 19," and, sure enough, her character proved to be another tick in the show's long list of mortalities.

Episodes 7 and 8 of Season 2 see a massive wind storm sweep the show's Seattle setting. Lewis appears in these two episodes as Shannon, a young woman who finds herself caught in the storm after a date with her boyfriend gone wrong. The harsh conditions unfortunately cause her to suffer a catastrophic car accident, and while Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe) and Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz) arrive in time to try and save her life, their efforts are ultimately for naught. Before she dies, though, Shannon requests that Andy put a necklace from her grandmother around her neck so that the grandmother can see it when she comes to identify the body. Gut-wrenching stuff to be sure, but for "Station 19," it's just another Tuesday.

The Gifted (2019)

These days, it seems like it's only a matter of time before every up-and-coming actor eventually finds their way into a superhero TV show or movie. That's no different for Leah Lewis, who ended up appearing in the Fox-Marvel collaboration series "The Gifted." The show follows a community of mutants struggling to fend for themselves in the modern day after the X-Men mysteriously vanish.

One major character in the series is Blink aka Clarice Fong (Jamie Chung), a mutant who can teleport using portals. The audience gets a good idea of who Blink is relatively quickly — a lively yet jaded young woman weary from years of attempting to survive the ridicule of mutants by human society — but they're also treated to even further glimpses into the character's past as the series moves along. To this end, Lewis guest stars in Season 2, Episode 12, appearing in flashbacks as a younger Blink and providing a bit more insight into the character's backstory. Unfortunately, "The Gifted" getting canceled means that audiences may be waiting for a while to see Lewis return to the Marvel universe.

Nancy Drew (2019)

One of Leah Lewis' most prominent TV roles to date is on yet another production from The CW. The actress is actually a main cast member on the 2019 mystery series "Nancy Drew." As with the original "Nancy Drew" books, the show follows its titular teenage detective (Kennedy McMann) as she works to solve all manner of gothic mysteries. She has more than a few friends in tow, too, including Bess (Maddison Jaizani) and Nick (Tunji Kasim).

Of course, you can't solve supernatural mysteries without making a few enemies. Lewis stars on the series as Nancy's former high school nemesis George Fan, a standoffish yet fiercely loyal girl to those in her corner. As the series wastes no time revealing, the pair have an extremely rocky history. That past is only exacerbated when they both find themselves embroiled in the mysteries of their shared small town. Still, George and Nancy are eventually able to find enough common ground to become reluctant allies, and the former even joins the Drew Crew, striking up a sweet romance with Nick.

The Half of It (2020)

Leah Lewis has appeared on the supporting cast of various properties more than a few times, but she's also been the leading lady on occasion. In fact, one of her major leading roles came in the form of the 2020 Netflix dramedy "The Half of It." With the movie's coming-of-age story and heavy romantic focus, it bears more than a few passing similarities to other Netflix efforts like "The Kissing Booth" and "To All the Boys I've Loved Before." Rest assured, though, this movie goes in some unexpected directions with its basic premise.

The film stars Lewis as Ellie Chu, an introverted high school student who agrees to help a football player named Paul (who may also look familiar to "The Half of It" viewers) pursue his crush before falling in love with the girl herself. As you might imagine, that complicates matters a tiny bit. Ellie has to contend with lying to her newfound crush about being someone else, watching as her crush starts dating a different guy entirely, consoling her football-playing buddy who has a crush on her, and so on. It's a lot to dump on a girl just out of high school, and Lewis imbues Ellie with a lot of heart that makes you root for her, even when it seems impossible that things can work out perfectly.

Batwheels (2022)

"Elemental" may represent Leah Lewis' big breakout role in the realm of animated content, but it's actually not the first time she's flexed her voice acting skills. The actress is actually also a part of a Batman-related production from DC Comics: the 2022 kids series "Batwheels." Per its names, the series follows a group of anthropomorphic vehicles known as the Batwheels as they work to help Batman, Batgirl, and Robin fight crime in Gotham City. Think "Cars," but with Batman...for some reason.

Despite the many inanimate objects that star in the series, Lewis does not play a car, but an actual human being. She's the voice actress behind Batgirl, with this version of the character being the Cassandra Cain iteration rather than the usual Barbara Gordon. Cain doesn't often feature in animated DC properties, so hopefully Lewis will be able to continue bringing the character to life in future projects as well.