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  • Actor Allusion:
  • All-Star Cast:
  • Christmas Rushed:
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  • Completely Different Title: Titled Emoji no Kuni no Gene (Gene in Emoji-land) in Japanese, as a reference of Alice in Wonderland (Fushigi no Kuni no Alice).
  • Creator Backlash: David Feiss (Cow and Chicken) worked on the film as a storyboard artist. At his request, he was not named in the credits.
  • Creator Killer:
    • Tony Leondis' career was irreparably damaged by the movie's universal thrashing, with no other planned projects in the pipeline since its release. A film he had been planning at DreamWorks Animation, B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, remains indefinitely shelved (though DWA's sale to NBCUniversal and eventual regime change didn't help matters, either).
    • Inadvertent example with Jordan Peele. He was so insulted when Sony offered him the role of Poop that it inspired him to semi-retire from acting and focus on being a film director.
  • Follow the Leader:
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    • Many saw similarities to this film and The LEGO Movie, which some argue is the reason the movie was conceived in the first place. However, others argue that it has more in common with Inside Out or Wreck-It Ralph.
    • According to director Tony Leondis, the film actually took inspiration from Toy Story, claiming that he wanted to create a movie based on Toy Story's concept with something that hasn't been done yet (in this case, emojis).
  • I Knew It!: The film is so clichéd that many people were able to correctly predict the film's plot beats, characters and ending before the posters were even revealed.
  • International Coproduction: Not the movie itself, but the Latin American Spanish dub, albeit with a very odd twist: Besides including Mexican voice actors (Startalents included), the dub also feature celebrity voice actors from countries with no voice acting industry to speak of (with the sole exception of Argentina), in this case they are from Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Panama and Guatemala.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine:
    • T.J, Miller (Gene) and Maya Rudolph (Smiler) previously worked together on Big Hero 6 as Fred and Aunt Cass respectively.
    • He also worked with Jennifer Coolidge (Gene's mom) on Gravity Falls as Robbie and Lazy Susan.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Given Sony Pictures Animation's well-publicised behind-the-scenes mismanagement, along with the film's massive amounts of blatant Product Placement, the fact that it's banking on an ongoing trend and its utterly generic plot, it's safe to say that this was the main motivation for the film's greenlighting.
  • No Export for You: Averted like bloody hell in Japan, at least on home video, as the movie was shown there in 2018. This is especially relevant for two reasons:
    • Since the movie was a critical disappointment in almost every Western country other than the U.S. and the U.K., and taking into account the emoji phenomenon was created there, and not to mention Japan is the home country of the media conglomerate Sony (Which Sony Pictures Animation belongs to), no one expected the movie to shown there, out of fear of smearing the reputation of the whole phenomenon there, not to mention Sony's, and...
    • And as if this wasn't enough, it was announced the Japanese dub will have an All-Star Cast of many well-known Anime voice actors. Cue the 😨 face of many anime fans. Even Anime News Network, who also comments about Japanese dubs as well, especially from well-known Hollywood films, was deeply surprised that this movie has gotten a Japanese release with a stellar cast.
  • Not Screened for Critics: An embargo was placed on any sort of reviews for the movie until release day. It's widely speculated that this was because of... pretty much everything about the movie garnering an almost unanimously-negative reception from the get-go. Sure enough, upon release the film got a 8% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes,note  and an average rating of 2.7/10.
    "Critics Consensus: 🚫"
    • It was later revealed that they had done so to prevent Rotten Tomatoes from ruining their chances to make a profit, which didn't work out very well as the film was only barely profitable.
    • For bonus points, Sony actually denied critics test screenings of the movie, just to be absolutely sure there were no bad reviews staving off profits on the opening weekend. Unfortunately for them, many theaters saw this as the writing on the wall, and released the film early anyway to try and recoup some of the money before the bad reviews caught up. The end result was that critics got to watch and review the movie early anyway.
  • Old Shame: Slowly became this for Sony Pictures Animation since late 2018, as press releases from the studio made little mention of The Emoji Movie in their resume, and no posts regarding the film have been made on their social media accounts after August of that year. Furthermore, when Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse were both released to much better reviews and box office receiptsnote  (the latter of which was released to universal acclaim), SPA decided to make sequels out of those films instead.
  • The Other Marty: Tom Kane voiced Poop in the teaser trailer before the character was officially cast as Patrick Stewart.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends:
    • A rare example of this occurring before the film even comes out. Basically, a click-bait post on Tumblr (whose "source" leads to this video) announced that the movie was canceled due to negative feedback from the trailer. However, people legitimately actually thought the post was being serious and many were glad that the movie was cancelled, despite there being no official sources to back this claim up. It's extremely rare for this to happen (even those who fall under this are cancelled due to controversy rather than bad reception).
    • Shortly after the film's release, word spread that Sony announced they would be making a new "X movie" about memes. Which comes from a parodic image edit.
  • Release Date Change: Originally set for release on August 4, it was moved up to July 28. The UK gets it on the former date.
  • Stillborn Franchise: Judging by the statement in the teaser: "It's my pleasure to announce our first movie.", this movie was intended to be the start of a franchise. However, its overwhelmingly negative reception and mediocre box office take means that any sequels will be very unlikely to happen, especially since people would be sure to avoid any sequels like the plague.
  • Troubled Production:
    • While things generally went smoothly during production, it was extremely rushed, being produced in just two years in order to stop other animation studios from making their own movies featuring emojis. On top of that, Sony only greenlit the movie out of desperation: the studio was still struggling from the fallout of the cyber attack, and since they had brokered a deal to share the film rights to Spider-Man, their most lucrative asset, with Marvel Studios that year, the studio was desperate to produce anything that could potentially attract audiences.
    • T.J. Miller, who voiced Gene, was reluctant to join production, and only did so when director Tony Leondis revealed the plot outline to him.
  • Undermined by Reality: The movie teaches you to Be Yourself despite being so by the numbers and such a mish mash of other films that it lacks its own identity.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Ilana Glazer was originally cast as Jailbreak rather than Anna Faris.
    • Patrick Stewart's character was called Poop Daddy at one point before simply being shortened to Poop.
    • According to Jordan Peele, he was originally offered the role of Poop. Not only did he turn the role down, he decided to go into early retirement from acting and focus exclusively on directing and producing movies because of how insulting the offer was. Though this ultimately ended up being a short break, as he'd appear in Toy Story 4 as Bunny two years later (and was the voice of Melvin in Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, which released the same year as The Emoji Movie).
    • The DVD commentary mentions that Smiler's robots were originally stop signs, which was changed because stop signs aren't scary.
  • The Wiki Rule: Here.
  • Word of God: The DVD commentary addresses several events not clearly spelled out in the film itself, such as Jailbreak being half-princess and half-hacker at the end and the Dropbox plug being a narrative device to explain why the robots couldn't access it.
  • Working Title: The film's original title was "Emojimovie: Express Yourself".

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