The Emoji Movie is a 2017 American computer-animated science fiction comedy film produced by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film was directed by Tony Leondis from a screenplay he co-wrote with Eric Siegel and Mike White, based on a story by Leondis and Siegel. It stars the voices of T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge, Jake T. Austin, Christina Aguilera, Sofía Vergara, Sean Hayes, and Sir Patrick Stewart. Based on emojis, the film centers on a multi-expressional emoji Gene (Miller), who exists in a digital city Textopolis for smartphone used by Alex (Austin), embarking on a journey to become a normal emoji capable of only a single expression, accompanied by his friends, Hi-5 (Corden) and Jailbreak (Faris). During their travels through the other apps, the trio must saved their world from total destruction before it was reset for functionality.
Inspired by Leondis’ love of Toy Story (1995), the film was fast tracked into production in July 2015 after the bidding war and the project was officially announced in April 2016. Most of the lead cast members were hired throughout the rest of the year. The Emoji Movie was the fastest production time for two years.
The Emoji Movie premiered on July 23, 2017 at the Regency Village Theatre and was theatrically released in the United States five days later. The film was a commercial success after grossing $217 million worldwide against its $50 million production budget, but was universally lambasted by critics, who criticized its script, humor, use of product placement, tone, voice performances, lack of originality, and plot, with negative comparisons and similarities to other animated films, especially Wreck-It Ralph (2012), The Lego Movie (2014), and Inside Out (2015). The Emoji Movie was nominated for five awards at the 38th Golden Raspberry Awards, winning four. It is the first animated film to win in any of those categories. It is frequently cited as the worst film of 2017, as well as one of the worst animated movies ever made.
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