The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene, an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.
It takes all kinds of emojis to make the world go ’round. That is one lesson presented in this imaginative and pun-filled movie—that and the fact that one must take risks in order to find what one is truly made of. Gene the Emoji has to do this because he has not been selected to appear on a phone. When he finally gets the chance, he is so nervous that he freezes and makes an unpleasant face. Can he do better given a second chance? Alex, the young man who has Gene the Emoji on his phone, likes a girl but can’t seem to get up the courage to let her know. Interestingly, Gene will have an opportunity later in the film to help Alex. Will he blow it, or come through this time? From the opening Columbia studios shot, which features an “Emoji” face on Miss Columbia, this movie aims for a fun experience.
From a Dove perspective, the movie has several positive themes including the importance of taking risks and that it takes all kinds of “emojis” or “people” to make the world go ’round. However, we are awarding it the Dove Seal for ages 12-plus, due to a few innuendos and comments. For example, a senorita likes an emoji named “Hi-5,” and when there is talk about getting together to dance, she comments that he was all “hands” the last time. He likes a female emoji named “Jailbreak” anyways, and there is more to her than meets the eye. Some of the humor is potty humor. For example, an emoji that is literally a small “poop” is said to “stink” and a comment about “number two” is mentioned. In addition, a “buzz-kill” comment is uttered and there are a few scenes of drinking including beer and champagne being uncorked. But also featured are the loyal parents of Gene, Mel and Mary, who want to find him when he leaves after an embarrassing situation. The animation is terrific, and the Emojis are a hot item these days.