Disclosure: I was invited to attend this roundtable and screening. All opinions expressed here are my own.
I was invited to a Part 2 roundtable with Maya Rudolph, director Tony Leondis, producer Michelle Raimo and World Emoji Day creator Jeremy Burge.
I got to preview the movie last week and it was really funny and it had a great message behind it.
The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Anna Faris). Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. The Emoji Movie features the voices of T.J. Miller , James Corden, Anna Faris, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge, Jake T. Austin, Christina Aguilera, Sofia Vergara and Sir Patrick Stewart. The film is directed by Tony Leondis, produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate, and screenplay by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White from a story by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel. “emoji”™ is a trademark of emoji company GmbH used under license.
We first spoke with Director, Tony Leondis and Producer Michelle Raimo. This was my second meeting with Tony, and he was so great about seeing us all again. He appreciated the fact that all of us came out to talk with him about the film. He talked about The Hand being the wildcard and how he learns about friendship. He loved Anna’s toughness and that is the understory. Poop is the X-factor which had all of us smiling.
We next got to interview Maya Rudolph. She was great and so down to earth. She talked about playing Smiler. Maya was smiling in that sound booth until her cheeks hurt! That’s how these animators bring such a fantastic film to the big screen, they use the actor’s facial expressions as well as their voices to bring the characters to life. Smiling that much has go to hurt after awhile! Maya felt that Smiler’s message was: don’t be yourself, conform, and be a slave to your job. We could see by the end of the movie how that all worked out. Maya played the role wonderfully, she said it was fun to make this smiling character evil, which she sort of is through all of the control issues and smiling face! The challenge was to hear a little anger through the smiling voice! She also talked about being a parent today and how that means you to have to manage electronics.
Finally we got to talk with World Emoji Day creator Jeremy Burge and talked about the fact that they are 2,666 emojis. I did not know that. It was fun to hear all the details of the emojis and what is going down the pipeline.
For more on the movie check out @emojimovie on Instagram and Twitter. Go see it this weekend you will love it.