Finding love inside a user’s mobile phone by Richard Jones


A look at The Emoji Movie (G)…

emojiTHERE’S nothing quite like a computer-animated movie to enthral children on their school holiday break.

So it was with Tony Leondis’ The Emoji Movie where we go inside a smartphone to the bustling city of Textopolis.

That’s where we meet all the emojis which can be summoned up by the phone’s owner, 14-year-old Alex.

The leader of the text centre is the ever-bubbly Smiler (voiced by Maya Rudolph) but it’s only when Alex hits the button to bring up Gene, a meh, that the trouble starts.

Alex is struggling to impress the girl in his class he likes. But when he selects Gene (TJ Miller) to accompany his text the trouble erupts.

The emoji chokes and coughs up too many expressions for one single message so the girl is confused about what Alex is trying to say.

So back home in Textopolis Smiler has the answer. She’ll send the fearsome fire-breathing bots to wipe out Gene for good.

Luckily Gene manages to escape with once-popular Hi-5 (James Corden), the animated hand who has fallen out of favour.

They have to find master hacker Jailbreak (Anne Faris) who might just be able to re-programme Gene so that he shows just the one expression again: the ‘meh’ look.

Jailbreak agrees to assist but only if Gene and Hi-5 agree to go with her to the fabled Cloud where Gene’s changing expressions could help her get past the daunting and all-consuming Firewall.

This is a huge race against time. Not only are Smiler’s fiery bots closing in, but Alex is down at the electronics shop hoping to have his phone re-programmed thereby erasing everything within.

So the trio enlist the aid of Twitter’s little blue bird to carry them part of the way as the race goes on.

And the ever-burgeoning attraction between Gene and Jailbreak blossoms as the film reaches its climax.

Despite numerous batterings from the world’s movie critics I thought the film was on a par with Inside Out – set in the mind of a young girl – and better than the dismal and stilted The Lego Movie.

Our two eldest granddaughters thought it was okay, also, although the 10-year-old thought like me. How come there’s so much stuff, and space, behind your screen on a mobile phone?

Then we worked it out. The emojis take up so little space there’s room for everything until you get to the firewall, one app. which takes a bit of negotiating.

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