The Emoji Movie 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
I can’t imagine anyone learned about THE EMOJI MOVIE and thought it was going to be fantastic cinema. The trailers confirmed what most of us thought, which is that the film would take a lot of easy jokes and recycle some cliché animated storylines, all the while trying to convince you that what you’re watching is fresh and original. Of course, there’s nothing original here and everything feels very familiar and lazy, even if it does manage to force a chuckle every now and again.
THE EMOJI MOVIE takes place in a world inside your phone, where the emojis you use to send messages to your friends are actually alive and living in their own little world. The focus of the film is Gene (Miller), who is supposed to be the “meh” emoji. In this world, everyone has their singular purpose, but Gene can express many emotions, which eventually sets him on a quest to fix himself. That quest leads him to team up with Hi-5 (Corden) and Jailbreak (Faris), where they set a course to “the cloud”, where they can be themselves or choose to fix their issues.
The jokes in THE EMOJI MOVIE come at a furious pace, thanks in large part to the energetic voice work from T.J. Miller, but few of them actually hit the mark. I’m guessing if you took some time and came up with a dozen or so obvious jokes concerning emojis, all of them were probably used in the film. James Corden’s Hi-5 probably generated the most laughs, but his character was tailor made for easy jokes and quick one-liners. Anna Faris voices Jailbreak and her character has a bit of a twist that’s made obvious early in the film. There’s also an air of familiarity throughout the film because it follows the same standard beats as a lot of recent kids movies where one character is not happy with who they are and through a series of events, they learn to appreciate themselves and their world.
I feel a little guilty taking potshots at THE EMOJI MOVIE, mainly because the film knows what it is and I respect that. It was clear from the beginning that everyone involved knew this was a simple animated film that was trying to capitalize on a batch of easy jokes. No one involved was trying to make WALL-E, but I question who their target audience is. The animation and tameness of the film make it feel like a movie for really little kids, but some of the jokes and plot points feel like they’re more geared towards older kids or even pre-teens. But I think adults will roll their eyes at the easy jokes and kids will probably get bored.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: Animated films received a huge boost from DVD to Blu-ray, but the improvements to 4K are minimal. THE EMOJI MOVIE is another in a long line of animated films that look almost the same from Blu-ray to 4K. Colors seem a tad more crisp and we do get a pseudo-3D effect that’s appreciated in the animated films, but overall this is just a modest upgrade over the Blu-ray.
Audio: The Dolby Atmos track is very robust and surprisingly efficient for this kind of film. Whenever the characters traveled through a world/app, the surround channels kicked in.
This title was reviewed using a Samsung UBD-K8500 with a Sony XBR75X850C TV.
The 4K UHD does not contain any exclusive features, but it does come with a Blu-ray of the film, which includes the following special features:
There are a variety of special features for the little ones, including games and a “How to Draw Poop” feature.
For everyone else, there’s very little, other than:
Commentary with the director and animators: These guys give an okay commentary. They focus on the film and various challenges animating certain scenes and stay away from the elephant in the room, which is why they made a movie about emojis in the first place.
Puppy: A Hotel Transylvania Short (5:00): I think this is partly to remind people about the Hotel Transylvania films and partly to sell the new animated series.
Jailbreak Decoded (1:56): This is focused on the Jailbreak character and plays out like an extended deleted scene showing her as a child emoji.