Be tech savvy at the cin­ema

Movie will un­lock the se­cret world of emo­jis

The Queensland Times - - NEWS OPINION -

HU­MAN be­ings have never been more con­nected. With the smart­phone, we are never out of touch from each other – and con­stantly in touch with peo­ple around the world. And with a sim­ple in­ven­tion, we are now able to com­mu­ni­cate with peo­ple who are sep­a­rated from us by lan­guage, bor­ders, oceans…

Now, Sony Pic­tures An­i­ma­tion takes you into the se­cret world in­side your phone for a rol­lick­ing ad­ven­ture in The Emoji Movie.

“Emo­jis help us ex­press our­selves in ways we don’t have time to ex­press, or don’t have the fore­thought to ex­press, or are afraid to ex­press,” says Tony Leondis, one of the writ­ers and the di­rec­tor of The Emoji Movie. “When I get a heart-eyes emoji from my mom, it ac­tu­ally means some­thing – it makes me smile. In this world of tech­nol­ogy, the hu­man heart has found a way to con­nect.”

“Every­body’s us­ing emo­jis – they’re part of our ev­ery­day life,” says pro­ducer Michelle Raimo Kouy­ate. “I al­ways en­joy an­i­mated movies that go in­side a world that you deal with ev­ery day, but never gave a thought to.”

The Emoji Movie 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 (Anna Faris).

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.

For T.J. Miller, who voices the lead role of an emoji named Gene in the film, that’s the per­fect jump­ing off point for a movie. “Par­ents use emo­jis with kids and kids use emo­jis with par­ents, so ev­ery­one is in on the joke from the get-go. From the first scene, you think, ‘Oh, I use that emoji all the time, my friend uses the danc­ing woman emoji,’” he says. “And when you add the fun of hav­ing Sir Poop­trick Ste­wart play­ing Poop, Sofia Ver­gara play­ing Fla­menca, Anna Faris play­ing Jail­break – she’s so dy­namic – Maya Ru­dolph is so funny, Steven Wright, one of my icons in the stand-up world, Jen­nifer Coolidge and James Cor­den are never not funny… I was ex­cited to join them be­cause it seemed like the project had the el­e­ments to be a great and very sur­pris­ing movie.”

Get to­mor­row’s edi­tion of the QT for your Emoji Movie colour­ing in com­pe­ti­tion sheet.

PHOTO: COLUMBIA PIC­TURES

EMOTICONS: A scene from The Emoji Movie.

PHOTO: SONY PIC­TURES

More char­ac­ters from The Emoji Movie.

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