Have you ever thought about what the faces on your phone do in their spare time? Or what it must be like to be stuck making the same face and feeling the same emotion constantly? These are the thoughts behind Sony Animation’s The Emoji Movie, starring T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, and Patrick Stewart. The film follows Gene, a “meh” emoji who feels like he doesn’t fit in with the other residents of Textopolis because he can feel and express emotions other than his predisposed, bored “meh.” Searching for something more than the monotonous daily grind of Textopolis– and compelled to action by a bounty on his head from the villainous Smiler– Gene teams up with his friend Hi-5 to explore the rest of the phone and try to find the hacker Jailbreak, the only one who can help them defeat Smiler.
Gene’s journey takes him through some very familiar territory to anyone with a smartphone, as the movie shows us an Emoji-eye view of apps like Candy Crush, YouTube, Spotify, Just Dance, and Dropbox. There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy here, as kids will love seeing their favorite apps come to life in a fresh way, while parents can appreciate the humor about the internet and its users. Cleverly-crafted sight gags and puns abound as well, and should elicit more than a few lighthearted chuckles.
While the movie is a lot of fun, it also has heart– and a great message for kids growing up in the internet age. Through the struggles and successes of Gene, Hi-5, and Jailbreak, kids watching The Emoji Movie learn that there are more important things in life than being popular or being the person that everyone else wants you to be. It’s okay– good, in fact– to be who you are and not try to pretend to be anything else in order to be “cool.” Your true friends are the people who love you for who you really are.
Make sure to check out The Emoji Movie in theaters on July 28th!