I literally thought all the dumb idea movies had been made until I saw the teasers for The Emoji Movie. My initial reaction was “really? This is what we’ve come to”. And since the price of a movie has gotten ridiculously high I wait until movies hit Netflix or cable nowadays to watch, unless it’s one I want then I’ll preorder on BluRay. Needless to say The Emoji Movie was wait kind so I decided on this rainy night to check it out during dinner. After all there was nothing on TV and a movie felt right.
I honestly had no clue what type of story to expect out of emojis as the main focus. After all they’ve only truly existed in pop culture within the last decade. Essentially the story behind The Emoji Movie is a smartphone version of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph (which I love as a gamer).
Our main Emoji is Gene. A “meh” emoji who can’t help but be everything and every emotion but must try to be “meh” to fit into the world of Textopolis, one of many worlds (apps as we know them) in a smartphone of a young teen struggling with being a high school freshman. Gene, voiced by TJ Miller, freaks out on his first day on the job upon being selected as a reply to a text and makes the wrong Emoji status. This of course cause turmoil within Textopolis where he’s immediately labeled as a malfunction and Smiler, voiced by Maya Rudolph, decides he must be deleted for the better good.
Gene, who obviously doesn’t want to be deleted, runs off to survive when he runs into Hi-5 as he’s trying to regain entry into the “favorites section” of Textopolis. After avoiding the delete bots Hi-5 suggests Gene find a hacker to change his code so he’ll one be “meh” instead of everything and Hi-5 goes along hoping the hacker can “hack him” into favorites. The journey takes them into a piracy app where they meet Jailbreak, a princess app in hiding who just wanted to live in the cloud to be herself.
They journey through various apps, including the popular Candy Crush, to get to Dropbox in order to enter the cloud so Gene can become “meh” and Jailbreak can live free.
You can figured out at this point that the end of the story is a meh-sage, see what I did there, that’s been told over and over again in various movies over the decades. That message – be yourself because that’s when your truly happy. That’s all there is to it. An entire movie using emojis to tell the story many of us had heard from Disney’s Aladdin or Wreck-It Ralph or whatever movie with this overly used but rarely heard message.
I can get the idea of using emojis to tell the story this time around to try to get the attention of the current generation who only know what’s in their smartphone or on the internet but the it fails by one key factor. That smartphone generation thinks their too cool for animated movies and are too busy trying to fit in and trend than be themselves.
The Emoji Movie is one that should’ve never gotten sent to be given a thumbs up by Hollywood. Even on a rainy dreary night when there’s nothing on it’s “meh” at best.