Sony’s ‘The Emoji Movie’ Is Sure to Stir up Emotions

We’ve all used them at least once in our lives — those coveted little icons that seem to get our point across better than words ever could. In short, they have revolutionized the portals of communication in ways never thought possible. Yes, we are talking about the itty bitty bite sized icons that live in our pockets. In fact, the world of smartphones has seen an outbreak of people using these bite-sized representations to convey all manner of messages. So why not a movie, the next logical step in the emoji trajectory?

Whether you are having an amazing, sad or bittersweet day, there is an emoji for that. That’s an inclusive dynamic that Sony Pictures capitalized on, crafting an original feature geared towards the unicode-based icons that you can only find on your phone. Well, now you can find them on the big screen, too. “The Emoji Movie” has been in the works for two years, and fans now have a chance to get re-acquainted with animated versions of their old friends.

The Tony Leondis-helmed film follows the world of emojis as they live in an app-filled universe where they are shoveled off to be part of the human world’s text messages. The animated comedy takes place in a town dubbed Textopolis, which in essence is a world inside the smartphone. The town is brimming with favorite emojis with their own distinctive faces. Except for one. The main protagonist, Gene (T.J. Miller), can’t seem to settle on just one face, so he goes on a journey to be like his fellow emoticons and fix his face for good. The result sees an adventure fit for the big screen with Gene and his highly expressive friends going from app to app, getting lost in different worlds and meeting colorful characters as they go.

“The Emoji Movie” has roots that originate from Tony Leondis’s love of Disney’s “Toy Story,” a film franchise that personifies a toy’s feelings and all the struggles that come along with being a child’s favorite plaything. Clearly Leondis finds this story compelling and deserving of some extra exploration. Sony Pictures Animation won the bidding war against Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures for the rights to the story. Leondis has a rich history in animated films that includes “Igor,” “Lilo & Stitch 2” and “Kronk’s New Groove.”

The story also follows Gene’s friends Hi-5 (James Corden) and Jailbreak (Anna Faris) as they embark on a journey to find the code that will fix Gene. Voices from the film include T. J. Miller and Maya Rudolph. The film will be presented in 3D with a script by Tony Leondis, co-written by Eric Siegel and Mike White. The film is produced by Sony Pictures Animation and distributed by Columbia Pictures.

The Emoji Movie” opens in theaters July 28.