I saw snippets of the Emoji Movie before the entire movie was ready and all I wanted was more. The movie is intelligent and funny, and highly entertaining. And the cast is phenomenal, especially Mr. T.J. Miller, who we got to chat with!
In the movie, Gene, an emoji born with multiple expressions, teams up with his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious codebreaker Jailbreak on an epic adventure through the apps on a teenager’s phone. Apps featured in the film include Candy Crush Saga, Dropbox, Instagram, Just Dance®, Spotify, Twitter, and YouTube. Popular apps Crackle, Facebook, Shazam, Snapchat, and Twitch also appear in the movie.
T.J. voices Gene. His voice has a special quality that works perfectly with this character, as it has in his other animated movies (I loved him in Big Hero 6!). His sense of humor also comes across wonderfully, he is a pleasure to listen to, as well as watch, I first became a fan when I caught him on the Chelsea Handler Show on her roundtable. He has a special type of comedy and I love it!
The cast is also terrific, as you can see above, James Corden voices T.J.’s friend. Steven Wright voices TJ’s dad with the perfect deadpan voice. And the fabulous Jennifer Coolidge voices his mom! Meet them:
Chatting with T.J. Miller was far different than I thought it would be. He was very excited to talk about the many positive messages in this movie. He was funny throughout, but also very serous because he understands the importance ot being accepted and not bullied in todays world.
He explained, the movie asked the question, What if an emoji had more than one emotion? Emoji’s are supposed to have one emotion for their whole life. What if an emoji had more than one emotion? How much would that threaten the status quo? “Do I have to change for the world, or will the world change for me?” Well, we are gong to find out!
He shared that the movie illustrated progressive values, I. e., Jailbreak being a female character. Not all men are hackers, the human form of what Jailbreak does. She’s the Knight in shining armor, not the male. I loved that TJ supported this “equality” 100+%.
He also shared how one important message from this movie was that characters were teaching each other valuable lessons, like learning about friendship: it’s not just about getting social media likes! Now that is something for all of us to see and here, especially our teens! T.J. said, “Everyone is struggling to fit in.” Another great message from the movie, which many can relate to. We always compare ourselves to the person who seems to have it all, but we do not know their inner struggles, their insecurities, and if they are over compensating for something.
This movie makes fun of all social media. It brings it to life, shows us what its personality can be (per Director Tony Leondis), and what we humans are unaware of. Again, we only saw snippets of the movie as introduced by the Director, but I came away with a strong desire to see the full movie because of its heartwarming messages, it’s intelligence, and the way it makes fun of social media! Also, the cast are all fabulous and talented folks!
See the movie on July 28th!
We had also spoken with Jake T. Austin, who plays the animated human who’s phone we are seeing, please read that interview here!