Feature FilmIdeas/Commentary

A Talking Piece of Shit Appears in ‘The Emoji Movie’ Teaser—And It’s Still Meh

Sometimes it’s not a question of whether something is good or bad, it’s simply a question of why. Like, why is this movie being made?

That’s pretty much the only thought that ran through my head as I watched Sony Picture Animation’s first teaser for The Emoji Movie:

Is a Meh character speaking in a monotone (voiced by Steven Wright) supposed to be funny? I don’t care. I also don’t care about the pre-packaged Hollywood messages about expressing yourself (the “Express Yourself” subtitle has thankfully been removed), and I really don’t care about whether the emojis can “save their world before it’s deleted forever.”

On these points, I think I’m in agreement with Sony because they really don’t seem to care about any of this either. As we pointed out earlier this year, The Emoji Movie is designed to be “one long commercial for mobile apps” and that news was confirmed this morning with new details released by Sony.

Sony describes the whole thing as an “epic app-venture.” Key product placements in the film will include Candy Crush Saga, Dropbox, Instagram, Just Dance, Spotify, Twitter, and YouTube, while apps like Crackle, Facebook, Shazam, Snapchat, and Twitch will also appear in the movie. Per Sony:

Some apps are presented as standalone worlds of their own that come to life in thrilling ways. In the music streaming app Spotify, characters ride rushing streams made of music. In Candy Crush Saga, our heroes are trapped inside the game board and must play through the levels in order to survive.

“We knew early on that we wanted actual apps in the movie, to ground it in reality and raise the stakes for our characters,” said Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation. “The fact that each app we approached said yes right away was an incredible testament to how engaging and relevant this movie is.”

Tony Leondis (Igor, Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch) is directing The Emoji Movie, based on a script written by himself, Eric Siegel, and Mike White. Columbia Pictures releases Emojimovie in U.S. theaters on August 4, 2017.

A final note that almost seems beside the point, but Sony also created a vertical version of the trailer. That version has the same animation as the teaser above, but is designed to be viewed on mobile platforms.