The Emoji Movie Trailer: T.J. Miller Wants To Feel More Than Meh

The full-length trailer for The Emoji Movie sets up the film's story and characters, teasing a narrative of self-discovery for one emoji.

Sony has unveiled the full-length trailer for their upcoming project The Emoji Movie. These days, it seems like studio executives can make a film out of anything, and that apparently includes the icons of faces and objects people use while texting their friends. On-paper, it reads as Sony's attempt to create their answer to The LEGO Movie - taking a property with no discernible storyline and crafting a narrative around it. Though many viewers are quick to dismiss Emoji or mock it, director Anthony Leondis was able to attract a star-studded voice over cast, including Sir Patrick Stewart as the poop emoji.

Moviegoers got their first look at the movie back in December 2016 with a brief teaser that set up the basic concept, showcasing some of the emojis that will be featured on the big screen this summer. Now, with just a couple of months to go until its premiere (as of this writing), Sony is ready to get their marketing campaign started in ernest with a full trailer that establishes the main plot and characters. You can watch it in the space above.

Based on the footage, it would appear T.J. Miller's Gene (a meh emoji) will be the lead protagonist, as he's become disillusioned by only being allowed to express one emotion. Things go horribly wrong when Gene accidentally makes the wrong face and is sent in a message, which takes him to the "loser lounge" (i.e. where unused emojis go to hang out). There, Gene meets Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Farris) and embarks on a journey to discover his true self and rightful place in the world. Gene just wants to learn his purpose, and that's the emotional through-line The Emoji Movie will follow. That could be a nice launching pad for a fun family film adventure that takes moviegoers on a wild ride through the world of their smartphones.

Similar to Pixar titles like Toy Story and Inside Out, there's a human component in Emoji Movie via the phone's user Alex. It remains to be seen just how meaningful a part of the final product this will be, given that it's only briefly touched upon in the trailer. Whereas the dynamic between Andy and his beloved toys or Riley and her emotions were key aspects of those aforementioned Pixar classics and helped fuel the story, it looks as if The Emoji Movie will primarily concern itself with the inner workings of the phone and is more about Gene's arc than anything else. Of course, there could be some surprises in store. After all, few could have predicted Phil Lord and Chris Miller could make The LEGO Movie as resonate as it was.

As a company, Sony is in desperate need of a hit following a disastrous 2016 punctuated by an underwhelming film slate. The studio lost a staggering $719 million last year, so they would like to see some box office successes in 2017. Unfortunately for them, The Emoji Movie is one of the riskier propositions of the year due to its premise and Sony's recent track record. It's true that kids movies tend to do well commercially, however, and Emoji does stand a chance since it will face limited competition. There's enough space between Cars 3 and Emoji that the demand for something geared to the juice box crowd might be there.

Source: Sony Pictures

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