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Trivia / The Emoji Movie

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Trivia Tropes:

  • All-Star Cast:
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  • Casting Gag: Patrick Stewart has stated that casting him as Poop was a complete joke.
  • Christmas Rushed:
  • 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).
  • Follow the Leader:
    • 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 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); they are from Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Panama, and Guatemala.
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  • Money, Dear Boy: Given Sony Pictures Animation's well-publicized 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.
  • 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 6% Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes,note  and an average rating of 2.9/10.
      "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 denied critics test screenings of the movie, just to be sure no bad reviews were 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 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, including an Oscar win), 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. 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 canceled, 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 canceled 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.
  • Star-Derailing Role:
    • Inadvertent and a rare self-inflicted example with Jordan Peele. He was so insulted when Sony offered him the role of Poop that it inspired him to briefly retire from acting and focus on film directing.
    • Played straight with T.J. Miller, being his lowest rated movie. Not helping matters was that he was later accused of sexually assaulting a woman, which was revealed a few months after the film's release. Miller had three other movies that were still in production at the time his sexual harassment allegations were revealed, but he hasn't had any major roles since then.
  • Stillborn Franchise: Judging by the statement from Mel 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 means that any sequels will be very unlikely to happen.
  • Troubled Production:
    • While things generally went smoothly during production, it was extremely rushed, being produced in just two years to stop other animation studios from making their 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 2014 hack, 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 the production, and only did so when director Tony Leondis revealed the plot outline to him.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • The Wiki Rule: Here.
  • Word of God: The DVD commentary addresses several events not 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".

Assorted Trivia:

  • Of the four Sony Pictures Animation films released in 2017 (counting the DTV release, Surf's Up 2: WaveMania), The Emoji Movie is the only one not to be a co-production. The aforementioned WaveMania was co-produced with WWE Studios. Smurfs: The Lost Village was produced with The Kerner Entertainment Company. The Star was co-produced with Walden Media and The Jim Henson Company.
  • Michael Lynton, an executive at Sony, left the company before the film was released to focus all of his efforts at working for Snap Inc., the owner of Snapchat (which he was already involved with before becoming chairman). Since Snapchat is one of the apps featured in the film, the use of Product Placement was likely very deliberate in this case.
  • The film became the first animated feature to be nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, Worst Screen Combo (any two obnoxious emojis) and Worst Director, and the first to be nominated for a Razzie in general since the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie ("Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel"), winning all four awards. Interestingly, none of the voice actors received any Razzie nominations.
    • It is also the second animated movie to win a Razzie ever, period, the first being Thumbelina (in the "Worst Song" category for "Marry the Mole").
  • The Emoji Movie was selected as one of the first movies to be screened publicly in Saudi Arabia in 35 years following Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman lifting a ban on cinemas (DreamWorks Animation's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie was the other film). Due to the mere fact of The Emoji Movie being selected, this attracted several comments to the effect that they were trying to ensure it would be another 35 years until the next one.
  • Sony thought that this movie would be so critically beloved that they submitted it for Best Animated Feature consideration. Unsurprisingly, the film didn't even get nominated.
  • Patrick Stewart was ecstatic to be asked to play Poop since he never gets asked to do weird shit. They would have asked him around when he was coming off of filming the notoriously depressing Logan.