“The Emoji Movie”, directed by Tony Leondis (“The Prince of Egypt,” “The Road to El Dorado”), is the latest in a recent wave of phone- and app-related films. The animated film has a classic premise: a young adult or teen is different and ridiculed for it, wants to fit in and goes on an adventure where they learn to embrace their difference and make great friends along the way. Despite difficulties in production and publicity, the movie’s cast and animation persevered.
This movie follows Gene (T.J. Miller), a “meh” emoji who is different from everyone else in his world, and with the help of Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris), he goes on an adventure to attempt to make himself fit in. However, in the end it was Gene’s uniqueness that saved the day, and he was embraced and adored for it.
The Emoji Movie followed other phone-based movies such as “The Angry Birds Movie,” and in months leading up to its release it was certainly not receiving much positive public opinion. In the face of adversity, such as receiving a disastrous 8 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I do believe the directors hit it right on the nose. They took an idea and brought it to life, and while it may not have been the most original story concept, the movie overall was actually quite enjoyable.
The animation was astounding. The detail in the wide shots over Textopolis was incredible and could only have been done by Sony Pictures Animations, the powerhouse behind other gems such as “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs.” The casting was also quite impressive. Whoever had the task of selling The Emoji Movie to big celebrities such as Sir Patrick Stewart and Christina Aguilera deserves a raise, and nothing will ever quite be quite as magical as hearing Captain Picard make so many poop jokes.
The movie provoked different reactions from different audiences. Izzie Toler, second-grader and member of the target demographic, thoroughly enjoyed it, saying, “It was amazing … I would give it a 100 out of 10.” However Demitri Cullen, an 18-year-old student, had a much more moderate response: “It actually was not as bad as I thought it would be; it’s a great movie to see with friends who don’t mind sitting through it.”
While certainly not the pinnacle of animated films, “The Emoji Movie” still had its highlights. The animation was detailed and fluid and the cast was stellar. To kids, this is a chance to see something they enjoy everyday on their or their moms’ phones being brought to the big screen. However for young adults, I believe this is an opportunity to see a movie that’s easy to enjoy and fun to laugh at with friends. I would recommend seeing this with a group, possibly on a five-dollar movie day.
Movie Title: “The Emoji Movie”
Director: Tony Leondis
Release: July 28