Tag Archives: The Emoji Movie

Talking to the people behind The Emoji Movie

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with some of the talent behind Sony Animation’s The Emoji Movie, including Director Tony Leondis, Producer Michelle Raimo, Maya Rudolph (who voices Smiler in the film), and World Emoji Day Creator Jeremy Burge.

Leondis and Raimo spoke primarily to the challenges of creating the film, and the many decisions that are involved in the process of building a movie like this. For example, they mentioned that many more apps were originally on the table in addition to the ones that were finally chosen to appear in The Emoji Movie, and that it was difficult to pick which should make the cut. However, they noted that the specific apps that made it in were selected according to the character’s journeys, and that story was considered top priority in regard to the film’s direction. “The movie’s all about identity,” Leondis said, “and each of the characters explores that in their own way.” In reference to the sequence that takes place inside Just Dance, Raimo added that “We even hired a choreographer to help us invent the Emoji Pop, to create a dance that felt unique and thematic for Gene.”

Rudolph, meanwhile, addressed the all-ages appeal of The Emoji Movie, asserting that its message appeals to kids and adults alike: “Sometimes, even as an adult, you think you know who you are,” she said, “and then you change. And you realize more about who you really want to be.” A mother herself, she also felt that the movie spoke to her about the unique worries that plague parents in this digital age. “It’s like the Wild West of parenting,” she said regarding electronic devices and the internet, “I hope that parents continue to have a dialogue with each other about it.”

Finally, we spoke with Emojipedia’s Jeremy Burge, creator of World Emoji Day, about the ubiquitous nature of emojis in today’s culture and the rationale that went into creating this holiday. Burge noted that the official count lists 2,666 emojis overall presently in use, and that more are added each year. This, he added, was what sparked him to create World Emoji Day four years ago. “You look at the calendar and there’s all of these holidays, like World Pancake Day” he said, “and I thought– Emojis are cooler than some of these things! They should have a day!” So he chose July 17– the date shown on the calendar emoji– and declared it World Emoji Day on Emojipedia. In the years since, the holiday has only grown, and this year’s celebration included a red carpet party at Saks Fifth Avenue, closing the New York Stock Exchange, and lighting the Empire State Building yellow with the cast of The Emoji Movie.

Make sure you catch The Emoji Movie in theaters July 28– you won’t want to miss it!

Are you smiling to see The Emoji Movie

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!