26 September 2017

Millenials are expressive beings. As someone in their mid-twenties, emojis are almost my native language.

Growing up in the 90s I’ve indulged in plenty of MSN emoticon conversations, cheeky standardised text smilies, and embraced the modern smartphone emoji with open arms.

There’s an emoji for almost every food, every object, every emotion. There’s even a poo! They’re a part of my – and my peers’ – everyday.

With the average millennial in the western world sending more than 2,000 texts per month, and accessing Facebook around 14 times per day, that’s a heck of a lot of social communication – and emojis. We love it, we live it, we breathe it. So “casting” an emoji as the lead character in an animated film is not only completely logical, but coupled with a creative and compelling storyline, is so on point in 2017 pop culture.

Producers Sony were right on the money.

“Kids” movies aren’t normally on my radar so I was intrigued about The Emoji Movie. After a July US premiere, Kiwis have been waiting in eager anticipation for the animated sensation, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

The story synopsis is about an emoji named Gene who lives in a phone belonging to teen Alex. Every app within Alex’s phone is its own world, with Gene residing in Textopolis, the Messenger app. Gene – with two “meh” emojis as parents – is supposed to be a meh emoji too, but as he’s able to make multiple faces, is considered a malfunction and is sentenced to deletion. Gene escapes from Textopolis to find a way to have his face fixed, and visits a whole bunch of Alex’s apps, from Spotify, to Candy Crush Saga, to WeChat, Twitter, Just Dance and the Dropbox, resulting in an imaginative adventure where Gene is eventually accepted and celebrated for being different by all of the other emojis in Textopolis.

With a colourful and well thought out design and clever mis-en-scene, the animators perfectly capture the essence of our apps’ “personalities”, resulting in an animation film starkly different to any other. The world inside our smartphones is a relatable and remarkable concept, and whether you’re a kid, a big kid or an adult, you’re going to enjoy this one.

The best part?  The Emoji Movie has a great message. You can be whatever or whoever you want to be – even if to the world you’re essentially just a poo or a yellow guy with a malfunctioning face.

Directed by Tony Leondis
Starring T.J. Miller, Anna Faris, Christina Aguilera, Patrick Stewart


You can see The Emoji Movie at our cinemas now!