The Emoji Movie (2017)
Description: This 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.
Director: Tony Leondis
Writers: Tony Leondis (screenplay by), Eric Siegel (screenplay by)
Stars: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris
On January 13, 2018, Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year ban on movie theaters. This was the first movie publicly shown in the country. It played at a film festival in Jeddah, as a double feature with Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017).
Sony invited Jack Douglass, owner of the “jacksfilms” YouTube channel, to the world premiere, because he praised it sarcastically.
This was the first feature-length animated movie nominated for Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. It was also the first animated movie nominated for a Razzie for Worst screenwriting since The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), which was nominated for “Worst Written Film Grossing Over One Hundred Million Dollars” in 1997. Eventually, this movie won all five Razzies for which it was nominated, including Worst Picture and Worst Director.
Sony promoted the latter release of the trailer by hosting a press conference in Cannes the day before the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which featured T.J. Miller parasailing in. Variety called the event “slightly awkward”, and The Hollywood Reporter described it as “promotional ridiculousness”.
According to T.J. Miller, this was the fastest produced animated movie in history.
Jordan Peele was offered the role of Poop, but thought the idea was “messed up”. After thinking about it for a day, he asked his manager to inquire what the job would pay, only to learn that the part had already been given to Patrick Stewart. Peele decided to quit acting after this, to concentrate on directing.
Film critic Chris Stuckmann named this movie the “Worst Movie of 2017”.
A week before this movie was released, Sony tweeted a controversial promotional picture parodying the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale (2017). It was immediately met with criticism for being tasteless, considering the content and themes of the Hulu series. Following the backlash, the tweet was deleted.
This movie was shown alongside Puppy!: A Hotel Transylvania Short (2017).
In the Latin American Spanish version, the name of Jailbreak was changed to “Lady Hacker”.
When Hi-5 takes Gene to the Loser Lounge, he tells him it’s for the emojis that never get used. The eggplant emoji would most likely not be in the Loser Lounge if the phone belonged to an adult based on its popularity representing genitalia.