These days it feels like they'll make a big budget movie out of anything. Not only are childhood classics seemingly always up for grabs when it comes to making an attention-getting reboot, but any video game (Assassin's Creed), app (The Angry Birds Movie), or ephemeral concept (ever longed for a racy food-themed animated film? Sausage Party got your back) can be dusted off and shined up for the big screen. Like, for example, this: The Emoji Movie trailer is here, and it is a real thing that is actually happening.
Though trailers are generally supposed to ramp up excitement for an upcoming film, the trailer for The Emoji Movie does the opposite. It features a meh emoji announcing the film in a characteristically deadpan voice, dryly urging viewers to come and see it. You know, if they want. Whatever. There is clearly meant to be humor in the irony of having an impassive character drum up hype for something, but it just does the opposite. The end of the trailer gives a glimpse at the larger emoji society with a quick scene of a fast-talking ice cream cone and an oddly refined-sounding poo emoji. So if you were worried that the poo emoji wouldn't find its way to the silver screen, don't worry.
The teaser reveals very little of the plot, which follows an emoji named Gene (Do all emojis get their own names? How many of one kind of emoji are there? Do emojis procreate? Can they only procreate with their specific type of emoji? What happens if a meh and poo fall in love and decide to have little emojis of their own? I have too many questions) on what sounds like a familiar coming-of-age journey. Gene's problem is that he's supposed to be a meh emoji like his dad, but he simply has too many feelings and expressions. In the single emotion world of Textopolis (yep), that kind of thing just doesn't fly. Gene's other problem might be that he lives in a terrifying dystopia that only allows its residents one emotion apiece.
However, horrifyingly dystopic implications aside, director Tony Leondis thinks emojis have an innate ability to connect people. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, "When you're trying to make an animated movie, the best thing is to find that familiar thing everyone's familiar with but no one really thinks about in this way. From my niece to my grandmother, they send emojis. It connects us. In this technological world, we still find ways to connect as human beings, and I think that's what emojis do."
Gene the Not Meh Emoji will be doing just that with his quirky emoji pals as he attempts to fit in to the repressive regime denying him his multifaceted personality. Expect to see cameos from all your favorite emojis – okay, maybe not the eggplant, this is a children's film – as Gene struggles find a way to fit in. I wonder if he will learn an important lesson about how it can be good to be unique? Tune in on August 4 to find out.