The Emoji Movie Review

Hi-5 (James Corden) and Gene (T.J.Miller) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation's THE EMOJI MOVIE.

Photo by Sony Pictures Animation

Hi-5 (James Corden) and Gene (T.J.Miller) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation's THE EMOJI MOVIE.

Max Hayes, Editor-in-chief

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I would like to start off this review of The Emoji Movie by stating that I am not endorsed or paid by Apple. Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s get to the review.

I’ll start off by providing some context of my Emoji experience. It was an average summer afternoon and I had recently seen an advertisement for the movie on TV while eating my daily Captain Crunch cereal. Still decompressing from a summer program I had just completed for five weeks, I had nothing on my plate. The Emoji Movie meant nothing to me before that advertisement, and I don’t know if it was the child-like emotion that advertisement evoked in me, or the availability I had that day, or the combination of both, but The Emoji Movie was calling my name.

I proceeded to call my friend Mikey and asked if he wanted to join me in The Emoji Movie experience. He agreed. It was a go. The reality that I was actually going to see a children’s movie, let alone The Emoji Movie, was slowly setting in. I hopped in my car and headed over to Mikey’s house, and then embarked on The Emoji Movie experience.

My first opinion after watching was, contrary to popular critical opinion and insight, I genuinely enjoyed this movie. Before you start thinking to yourself, “What are you saying?! The Emoji Movie is just a giant advertisement for Apple!” or “It’s just a kid’s movie,” I want to say one thing- a major reason that The Emoji Movie caught so much heat and hate from viewers is because they walked in that theater expecting the movie to be atrocious. The point is it’s all about mindset. I guarantee that if people who hated The Emoji Movie walked into the theater with an open mindset, approaching it as any other movie, people wouldn’t think it was as bad as they did going into it expecting to see a terrible movie.

In regards to the production, this movie has it all. With a production budget of $50,000,000, The Emoji Movie brought in $81,389,699 in America, according to Nash Information Services.

Aside from production, The Emoji Movie also has an intriguing and meaningful plot. The movie takes place in “Textopolis”, where many of our favorite Emojis reside. The main character is “Gene”, and boy oh boy is this Emoji an enthralling protagonist. His dilemma is that he can, unlike the other Emojis in his community, make multiple expressions on his face. This problem of his uniqueness causes him to embark on a thrilling adventure to become like his peers. Through numerous trials and triumphs, Gene, with the help of his two friends Jailbreak and the high-five Emoji, attempt to find Gene’s true facial expression by exploring different apps. Here’s where the plot gets very complex and hard to understand. Gene is in trouble during his quest because the top Emoji, the Smiler-Emoji, wants him deleted because the owner of the iPhone, Alex, in which the Emoji’s live in, realizes that his phone is not working correctly because of Gene’s exploration. This causes him to schedule an appointment to erase everything from his iPhone, including this “Textopolis” that the Emojis live in. The top ruling Emoji, Smiler-Emoji, decides this is a problem and tries to delete Gene before they are all erased because he’s the problem. SPOILER ALERT: Gene uses his multiple expressions to form a unique Emoji for Alex, which he eventually sends to his crush at school, Addie. The Emoji is successful in getting Addie’s attention and the “Textopolis” and Gene are therefore saved.

Now that the plotline is established and explained, we can start dissecting the deeper meanings behind this film. This film subtly conveys the message of how being different and unique from others is actually advantageous and shouldn’t be considered a bad thing. This is conveyed in Gene’s journey to become “normal”, like the rest of the Emojis, and how it’s his uniqueness that eventually saves him. This is a great message to promote in a children’s movie to encourage the embracement of unique, different, and diverse personalities in the youth community through an entertaining cartoon movie. The second theme I took away from this movie relates to the owner of the iPhone’s, Alex, side of things. He was about to delete his phone’s data because of its “defect”. However, this “defect” eventually wins him his crush’s attention at school. The takeaway here is that the different or unique things in our life that might seem unappealing at first are what actually separate us from the rest of us, and if we embrace them, it can lead to better things in our lives. Although The Emoji Movie has a silly, childish, and maybe even foolish appearance on the surface, it carries some substantive themes and messages within it.

Although its harsh ratings among critics, receiving a 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Emoji Movie has spectacular character development, plot twists and turns, and subtle positive messages behind the childish cartoons that make this movie definitely worth the watch.


Rating: 8/10