Animated Movies, Reviews, Sony Pictures Animation, Studios

[REVIEW] ‘The Emoji Movie’

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I don’t think there has ever been an animated film that caused as much internet uproar since its announcement as The Emoji Movie. To many, including myself, it seemed like the ultimate attempt by a Hollywood studio to cash in on intellectual property without a compelling idea or reason to exist. However, as we got closer to its release date, there was a side of me that started to root for the film. What can I say? I guess I love an underdog. So how did The Emoji Movie turn out?

Unfortunately, it’s not a strong film. It’s not the worst movie ever like the RottenTomatoes score might lead you to believe, but it is pretty flimsy stuff.

Let’s talk about some of the positives. The biggest plus is that the animation is bright, colorful, and up to par with what you expect for a CG big studio film. The worldbuilding design of the app and Textopolis clearly was carefully done with a lot of thought going into it.

Also, the voice cast is large and fine. I particularly liked Steven Wright and Jennifer Coolidge as Mr. and Mrs Meh. The story they were in was lame but the actors did a good job.

Now, on to the negatives. The biggest problem with The Emoji Movie is that it is incredibly derivative of many other films. Just to give you a sampling of films it borrows from or is similar to: Inside Out, Minions, Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, The Lego Movie, A Bug’s Life, Sausage Party, Trolls, Angry Birds Movie, Sing, Secret Life of Pets, Toy Story… You get the idea.

Sometimes, I don’t mind a derivative story. I’m a big defender of The Good Dinosaur and many find that derivative. In that case, the film has so much to offer in beauty and emotion that I didn’t mind familiar story points. In The Emoji Movie there really isn’t much to offer. For instance, all would be solved if it was funny but it’s not. I chuckled a few times but it was not nearly enough to save the movie.

Even a bizarre idea like Sir Patrick Stewart as the Poop Emoji doesn’t score many laughs (he’s hardly in the movie, maybe 3 jokes).

The rest feels very played out. Gene and his journey to find out his emotion isn’t compelling. His sidekicks High Five and Jailbreak are either boring or annoying. The adventures in the apps feel inconsequential and tawdry with their overt product placement. Perhaps small kids will be engaged but adults will find it pretty tedious.

There is a plot with Mr and Mrs Meh that did nothing for me, and the interactions with the phone owner Alex felt disingenuous to how teens behave. In Inside Out, the environment actually moves and flows as all the characters interact with it (the Islands of Personality crumbling for example). The Emoji Movie apps felt more like stops on an obstacle course that they could have easily walked around instead of entering. The villain is also very annoying.

In the end, there is no reason to give your money to The Emoji Movie. If you are dying of curiosity, wait and see it on DVD. There’s nothing offensive about it and some small kids may enjoy it but with so many good options available right now like Captain Underpants, Spider-man Homecoming, and Cars 3, this deserves a definite skip.

 

 

Edited by: Kajsa Rain Forden

 

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About Rachel Wagner

Rachel has loved animation since she was a little girl singing songs from The Little Mermaid at the top of her lungs. She currently works in social media marketing and loves to blog and vlog about Disney, Pixar and all kinds of movies in her free time. Her favorite movie is Up and she considers herself quite the Cinderella aficionado seeing every version she can get her hands on. She also loves animated TV shows like Simpsons, Gravity Falls, Star Wars Rebels and more. Follow her on twitter @smilingldsgirl
  • Yellow

    Nice review; you gave good, concise explanations of these parts of the movie. And it’s nice to hear/read a review that isn’t outright bashing it. I wasn’t expecting much from this movie, but hopefully I’ll never have to see it.

    • Rachel Wagner

      Thanks!

    • Yep. When you think about it, this year has been lackluster for animated movies.

      • Manuel Orozco

        The only animated films I’ve seen so far are Lego Batman, Smurfs Lost Village, Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3.

  • Yeah, I wasn’t expecting anything good in this film. I’m glad you saved me a trip to the theater (even though I wasn’t even going to buy a ticket anyway. XD) I just hope this isn’t the Animation Industry’s way of saying that they’re running out of GOOD ideas.

    P.S., I also like The Good Dinosaur (and the Super Sunjay short that went along with it).

    • Manuel Orozco

      I didn’t see GD in theatres so I didn’t see the Super Sunjay short but I liked the movie too. It felt familiar but didn’t completely ruin my enjoyment. Pixar just knows a little better than that.

    • Rachel Wagner

      Yay fellow Good Dinosaur fan!

      • Manuel Orozco

        Well I already bragged about the movie’s good points and bad and no need for me to do it again.

    • Same here. GD was not as good as other Pixar films, but still was very charming.

      • Manuel Orozco

        At least it was good as most other Pixar films in my book. Despite we’ve seen a story like this before and some amateurish humor and character designs, what we still got was a bit of Pixar’s sense of beauty with sometimes refreshing results.

  • Good review. While this is a movie I would be willing to see, It’s definitely not a movie I would be willing to pay to see. If it happens to show up on Netflix later on or something like that, I’d watch it.

    • Rachel Wagner

      Thanks!

      • Manuel Orozco

        Hey Rachel have you checked out the Frozen Broadway rehearsal first look on YouTube?

        • Rachel Wagner

          Yes! I LOVE it!

          • Manuel Orozco

            I was just wondering in case you did. I have been semi addicted to it for two weeks. However, I’m going to watch the development of the show over the next few months closely and cautiously. Then make a final decision whether I will see Frozen if it goes on tour. Plus I’ve only seen the movie one time and it’s popularity as you know was stressful for me. For the time being, I’m worried if Jennifer Lee’s new script and the new songs will help improve the story and now the 2 act structure will be like particularly with Let It Go as the Act One finale.

          • Rachel Wagner

            I think it will definitely improve things and I feel Frozen belongs most on Broadway. I know they got rid of the trolls song. I love the cast and costuming. It’s in Denver but i hope it comes to Utah so I can see it.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Actually according to the song list posted on Instagram, Fixer Upper is still in the show. And In Summer is before Let It Go

          • Rachel Wagner

            Really? I thought for sure I read they were eliminating the trolls all together and replacing them with ‘hidden folk’ and Fixer Upper http://www.vulture.com/2017/08/broadway-frozen-musical-trolls-hidden-folk.html

          • Manuel Orozco
          • Manuel Orozco

            Hey again Rachel I read your tweet this morning. Good luck in Denver

          • Rachel Wagner

            Thanks. I will report on it for sure

          • Manuel Orozco

            Report on Hamilton too because I’m desperate to hear an honest review on it before I actually see it. My chances of seeing it in LA or Costa Mesa are slim because of how popular it is. Plus I enjoyed In the Heights which was Senor Miranda’s first hit.

          • Rachel Wagner

            Will do!

          • Manuel Orozco

            Thanks found that out on Twitter too. How nosy of me

  • Manuel Orozco

    I was expecting a bigger response to this movie but now I think I’m going to skip it and not watch it period!

    • Rachel Wagner

      Definitely not worth your hard earned money!

      • Manuel Orozco

        By the way Rachel what did you think of Spider Man Homecoming?

        • Rachel Wagner

          I thought it was solid and entertaining. It’s not my favorite Spider-Man movie but it was good

          • Manuel Orozco

            To each their own it’s actually my favorite Spider Man movie. But I do agree it was entertaining. It just wasn’t perfect. My motto is never expect perfection

          • Rachel Wagner

            For sure. No such thing as a perfect movie :). But yes I had a great time at Spider-man Homecoming. Wonder Woman is my favorite superhero movie of the year but it’s been a good one.

          • Manuel Orozco

            Wonder Woman was great too. Both movies managed to serve its purpose of taking us on the title characters first solo adventures since their debuts in Civil War and BVS respectively last year with slightly different but wonderful results. However besides the timeline glitch and a few over the top MCU connections, Homecoming took a refreshing approach in combining your typical average superhero flick with a John Hughes homaged high school comedy. And Keaton as Vulture is MCU’s most emotionally investing villain yet.

          • Rachel Wagner

            I think Loki is best MCU villain but I agree with most of what you said

          • Manuel Orozco

            Glad you do

  • <[| MG |]>

    ” Just to give you a sampling of films it borrows from or is similar to: Inside Out, Minions, Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, The Lego Movie, A Bug’s Life, Sausage Party, Trolls, Angry Birds Movie, Sing, Secret Life of Pets, Toy Story…”

    [ I definitely got it (emoji) ]
    [ No wonder ] the movie is tooo emojional.

    “There is a plot with Mr and Mrs Meh that did nothing for me…”

    That sounds like the most justified [ meh ] part.

    ] I couldn’t be dying more of curiosity [ so probably I won’t be able to make it till it arrives…
    …um…
    …arises from the dust.

    ] Glad [ it didn’t dispirit you as much as it did “some”.

  • Thanks for the review. I’m surprised that you weren’t as negative as many of the other critics were. But yeah, no one should see this and it’s shameful that this made around $25 million opening weekend. There are much better options for older folks like Dunkirk and for younger folks, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I saw both movies. Dunkirk is a near-masterpiece and while Valerian had issues, it was nice and unique.

    • Manuel Orozco

      I’m probably going to wait until Valerian comes out on DVD despite how visually cool it looks. I’m probably done for the summer at the movies with GOTG Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, Cars 3, Despicable Me 3 and Spider Man.

    • Manuel Orozco

      Sorry I said probably twice my bad

    • Rachel Wagner

      I agree on both of those movies. Enjoyed them both and definitely much better than Emoji Movie

  • Yeah I figured it wouldn’t be that good, but man its insane how much its really THAT bad….But a really good review out of it!! :DD

  • Mr.Pig

    Lol i kinda wanna see it i kinda don’t

    • Manuel Orozco

      I was thinking the same thing! Especially with all the hype before it came out.

    • Rachel Wagner

      I feel like you need to see it as animation fan on dvd to appreciate how good the good movies are! 🙂

  • Mr.Pig

    This was a great review great details

  • Dodo Life

    I agree with you, the movie is not as bad as rotten tomatoes says it is. I definetly did enjoy parts of the film like the music. It is a bit annoying to see so much hate on a movie that really doesnt deserve it. its a meh movie not good nor bad.