The Emoji Movie review

My opinion right after watching the film

My opinion right after watching the film is that I do not recall being so emotionless over a movie. No excitement about how good/great/amazing it is, no anger at how horrible/bad/unpleasant it is, and absolutely no care for it. Obviously it is not a good story, but a lot of the hatred for it seems like it was because it’s popular to hate it because it is trendy to do so, thanks to a lot of the PR. I’m not gonna hate something vigorously because it is popular to do so, and to see many people claim this is one of the worst films ever is beyond laughable to me.


This movie was inspired by the director’s love for Toy Story, and wanted to do a twist with a tool that is modern. It was initially going to be about emojis entering the real world, but the producers thought it was more interesting if the emojis were kept to explore the phone world. This was personal to the director, since he is gay, and felt different from everyone else like the main character in this film does.

Shockingly enough, the film was being bounced around from company to company, with said companies being Sony Pictures Animation, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros. Obviously the former won the battle.


The movie starts off with an introduction of the Emoji world, where we get a bunch of horrible puns and jokes. Our main character is Gene (T.J. Miller), who is a meh emoji that is struggling with being meh all the time, which is why his parents (Steven Wright and Jennifer Coolidge) refused for him to be sent on the phone to work. The emojis are in a boy named Alex (Jake T. Austin)’s phone, and he is sent a text by his crush Addie (Tati Gabrielle), so of course Gene makes the wrong face *several eye rolls*, and manages to ruin everything.

There is a meeting about his malfunction, and Smiler (Maya Rudolph) calls him in, she tells him that he is going to be deleted, and a bunch of bots chase after him as he flees. Gene is spared by an emoji called Hi-5 (James Corden), who has since last his fame, but tells Gene that they can go to a hacker to get fixed. The two end up in some piracy land, where they end up meeting Jailbreak (Anna Faris), and they are able to escape as the bots continue to search for him more vigorously.

Apparently, Jailbreak was a princess app, but ran away and became this tough girl after being sick and tired of being stereotyped. If this is a dig at Disney, they need to be more witty with it, since everything about this film thus far has been unimpressive at best. This ended up being revealed after her entire wig and makeup was snatched after dancing too hard. The parents keep on bickering, as the father blames the mother for letting him go on the phone, and the mother claims that she doesn’t know her husband anymore. The are clearly going with some romantic angle with Jailbreak escaping the phone box to be herself, while he wants to fit into it, so he can’t be himself, and this is happening after they go back to fetch a lost Hi-5.

The all end up in some sort of Dropbox, so they can be upgraded, and of course our main characters admit their feelings for one another, but for drama, they make it complicated, so he becomes more meh than ever. The bots capture him, and his parents come to his rescue, only to be trapped as well. His friends make it over, but Alex is already at the phone place to have everything deleted, but is shocked when his crush Addie is nearby. Before the phone is erased, Gene captures the perfect romantic emoji for Alex to send, so the latter unplugs the phone, and decides to keep everything. Everyone has a happily ever after.

Honestly, the biggest crime of the film is that there was no humour (despite trying their best to be humorous), and the development of the story/characters were beyond flat. There was just very little that was unique with the film to cause it to stand out, and it seemed like there was a lot more style over substance. I do not have anger like everyone else, but sheer boredom. If anything, I might be angered by the amount of boredom I had with it. I don’t know.


What is there to say about the characters? There are none. Gene is the character that has more than one emotion, so he is supposedly complex, but it is the typical “underdog/different person” tole, and we didn’t really learn much of anything about him.

Jailbreak is a Princess who wanted to be more than a princess, so she became this tough girl, and it’s just an excuse to take countless digs at the Disney Princesses, which was old when Shrek did it a decade ago. She reminds me of Wyldstyle from The Lego Movie, who was just a generic love interest, and was all talk with being this deep, tough girl.

Hi-5 thinks being famous is the only way to get attention and to be seen as positive, but of course he learns the value of friendship at first. I do not care much for the parents, and Smile is a mediocre villain. Less than stellar cast overall.


There is not much to say about the animation. It isn’t amazing, but it isn’t horrible. it is very flashy, which is expected in a film about emojis in a phone world, and a film by Sony. The designs are fine, the textures are fine, everything about it is….. fine.


I did not take much notice to the music in the film. There were some pop-culture scores and bits here and there, but there were no musicals, and there was a tech-y vibe as they went through the phone. Could be worse, but clearly very unmemorable.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on July 28th, 2017, it as of October 8th made $85 million domestically, and less than $115 million in other territories, with a worldwide amount of $199.7 million. It was a success, since the budget was $50 million, and a lot of the backlash was trying to curb the box office results.

Speaking of that, Sony blocked the reviews for the film on an embargo tactic to not have critical reception cause people to not see the movie, so they banned it up until a few hours before the film was released. Sony claimed that they did this because the movie was for films under 18, and they should have a fair chance with it. We all know that the critics and audiences HEAVILY PANNED it to the point that all of the above was felt to be necessary. A lot of people compared it to Wreck-it Ralph, Toy Story, Inside Out, and The Lego Movie.

Final Score

Story: 5/10

Characters:  4/10

Animation:  7/10

Music:  6/10

=  22/40 =  55%


5 thoughts on “The Emoji Movie review

  1. “I do not recall ever being so emotionless over a movie”

    Considering the plot of this movie was a Meh emoji failing at being emotionless, it’s incredibly ironic that the only thing this movie instilled you and many others with was apathy.

    1. Pretty much. I’m kind of upset that the angry reaction to the movie would be justified, but I don’t get how people emote negatively or positively to the movie.

      1. From what I can tell, people were annoyed by the laziness and pandering and the fact that the studio execs thought a low-effort job like this movie would be a smash hit in the same industry where Disney and Pixar have to work their butts off every year to make great movies. Most of the people I’ve seen angry about it consider it an insult to the medium of animation. Mostly, I just think it’s boring and forgettable.

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