Story

The Emoji Movie is an animated movie about the emojis that live inside the phone belonging to Alex (voice of Jake T. Austin). They’re waiting to be selected each time he sends a text message, usually to Addie (Tati Gabrielle), a girl he likes.

Gene (T.J. Miller) is supposed to be a ‘meh’, but he has malfunctioned. On his first selection he appears as a multi-emotional emoji, which is seen as a failure in the emoji world. Smiler (Maya Rudolph) is determined to eliminate him, but his friend Hi-5 (James Corden), who has recently been sidelined, wants to help Gene get reprogrammed. Hi-5 enlists the help of Jailbreak (Anna Faris) to do this, but Smiler has sent bots to destroy Gene. Gene and his friends must escape from the bots. Their journey leads them through many applications, including Trash and Dropbox, from where they hope to reach the Cloud. But they must first get through the firewall, which is no easy task.

Themes

None of concern

Violence

The Emoji Movie has some violence. For example:

  • One of the emojis is a devil who spears other emojis with his fork.
  • Gene jumps out of his cube and falls to the ground, crashing into everything.
  • The bots constantly chase Gene and his friends, often firing laser beams at them.
  • The bots destroy several characters with lasers.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, The Emoji Movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • The devil emoji looks quite scary, as does a skull emoji with red eyes.
  • Smiler always has a smile on her face but she’s actually quite evil. At one point, she approaches Gene with a large hook to delete him.
  • The bots are quite scary ‘Darth Vader’ type creatures. They’re black with red eyes that fire red laser beams.
  • The devil emoji catches on fire.

From 5-8
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, The Emoji Movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • Gene and Hi-5 go into the ‘loser room’ which is a scary place full of trolls, viruses and spam. The bots enter the room, and everyone is scared. The bots cause a lot of chaos. They also laser several characters. Gene, Hi-5 and Jailbreak fall through into Candy Crush. Gene gets stuck, and his friends have to pull his legs through. Gene seems to explode.
  • The bots capture Hi-5 and he ends up in Trash, which is a scary place. Trolls and nasty characters seem threatening.
  • Smiler upgrades the bots to be more lethal. They now have rotor blades on the end of their hands.
  • Gene makes several attempts to get through the firewall. Each time he fails, he’s fried by the fire.
  • Alex decides to wipe his phone and reset it. All of the emojis are destroyed, including Gene and Jailbreak, but they’re restored when Alex restarts the phone.

From 8-13
Nothing of concern

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

The Emoji Movie has some sexual references. For example:

  • Gene’s mother Mary, a meh, says to her husband, Mel, that she is ‘so overwhelmed with passion for you’.
  • Mel replies that his love for her is ‘like a red-hot flame’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

The Emoji Movie shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Characters drink at a party.
  • Hi-5 orders a ‘Hack’ Daniels.

Nudity and sexual activity

The Emoji Movie shows some mild sexual activity, including when Mel and Mary kiss.

Product placement

In addition to mobile phones, the following products are displayed or used in The Emoji Movie: Candy Crush, Dropbox, the Cloud, YouTube, Spotify, Instagram and Facebook.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language and toilet humour in The Emoji Movie.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Emoji Movie is an animated movie set inside a mobile phone, with some comic moments and some pathos as well.

The movie’s bright colours and theme are likely to appeal to young children, but there are dark aspects to the movie that could frighten some children. Older children who are familiar with mobile phones and apps are likely to better understand the movie’s humour. The movie is therefore not recommended for children under five. We also recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-8 years.

The main messages from this movie are that having real friends is more important than being popular, and that good friends will help out even when things are hard.