Over the years we have seen some odd works of fiction across every medium. From films, to novels and everything in between, normal has become relative. From unique characters, surprising visuals and memorial characters. The sea of possibilities are only limited as far as we can see, and even then some.
Inside Out, Toy Story, The Lego Movie – these are a few of the fine examples of something so abstract that ending up being genius. So maybe it isn’t too surprising that last year Sony Pictures Animation notably dropped a million dollars for a film where the stars where emojis. Just like any announcement the response varied. But for the most part it seemed to really seemed, for lack of a better term, meh to indifferent on the concept.
The announcement of the Emoji Movie was back in July of last year and since then, the information has been scarce. No plot details, chatter, production details, or really anything. It almost was like everyone had forgotten that it was even a thing.
That is until we got our first look at the film and a full summary earlier this month. Check it out down below.
Emojimovie: Express Yourself 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 (T.J. Miller), 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 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer). 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.
Right of the bat this reminds of Wreck-It-Ralph. The main character (Presumably being treated differently for the way they are.) sets out on a quest across various ‘worlds to change themselves. It really is a very basic and paint-by-numbers plot.
I like to believe, as a writer, that the characters are the single most critical part of any narrative. It does not matter how great and elaborate, or cliché and formulaic your plot is. The characters are what makes or brakes you. And if you cannot form any attachments with the characters and do not care about them. Well, nothing will click.
And that might just be the biggest issue here.
Each emoji is attached to a single emotion. One very specific thing they want to express. And in this world they can only have one facial expression. That severely limits everyone’s personality. Bar Gene.
I understand the idea of taking something that has become such a large part of everyday life. And using that to drive a narrative. I really do. A lot of Pixar’s films and even “Shopkins” aim to do just that. I do admit that I might be too harsh with the first impressions. “Inside Out” opened up emotions and lead them on grand journey and it was glorious.
At this point “Emojimovie” can really go either way. And with more news, updates and eventually a trailer. We will surely get a good grasp of what life is like in Textopolis.
“Emojimovie: Express Yourself” hits theathers August 11th, 2017.
Join the conversation: What are you early thoughts on the upcoming “Emojomovie”?