Inside of Alex's smarthphone is a hidden city called textapolis, the residents of which are emojis, who typically have a single facial expression. Smartphone users can then select an emoji to send in texts based on what idea they want to convey thorugh the emoji's facial expression. Gene, son of two "meh" emojis Mel and Mary, is able to make multiple expressions despite his parents' efforts to suppress the ability. Mel and Mary hesistantly allow Gene to go to work once he is older because he wants to feel useful. Alex, the human owner of the smartphone that contains textopolis, then sends Gene as an emoji to his crush, Addie. Gene makes a confused expression that he was not supposed to make and so Smilyr the leader of the text center, rules him as a defect and tries to delete him. Gene is rescued by old-school emoji "Hi-5" who teams up with Gene to find a hacker to fix him.
Gene and Hi-5 find a hacker-emoji named Jailbreak in a piracy app on Alex's phone. Jailbreak is trying to escape the phone to live in Dropbox, in "the cloud." Together they travel from app to app and are attacked by bots sent by Smiler to delete Gene. In the Just Dance app, Jailbreak reveals that she is a princess emoji who got tired of stereotypes. They are attacked by bots and Hi-5 gets sent to the trash. In the interim, Mel and Mary get in a fight and Mel reveals that he too is secretly a defective emoji capable of multiple expressions, from whom Gene recieved his genes. Jailbreak similarly says to Gene that he should not be ashamed of his "malfunction" and they rescue Hi-5 from the trash. A super-bot chases them, and they escape to Dropbox, getting through a firewall using "Addie" as the password. There Jailbreak begins to reprogram Gene. Gene says he loves Jailbreak, but Jailbreak says she still wants to continue on to the cloud. This breaks Gene's heart, causing him to revert back to his unemotional, single-expression emoji. Then the super-bot captures Gene and brings him to Smiler. Hi-5 and Jailbreak follow riding on a twitter bird. They, along with Mel and Mary, all come together as Smiler prepares to delete Gene. Jailbreak and Hi-5 disable the bot and it falls on top of Smiler. All of this commotion has caused Alex to believe his phone is broken and needs to be reset, and he has taken it to a store. In a last-ditch effort to save textopolis from being erased, Gene texts himself to Addie, catching Alex's attention and stopping him from resetting his phone. Alex is happy to finally speak with Addie, textopolis is saved from being erased, and Gene is celebrated by all the emojis.
The Emoji Movie is perhaps the greatest film of all time, truly a masterpiece for the ages. Animation and emojis: how could a combination of the two greatest inventions of mankind go wrong? The movie is riveting; the brilliant plot keeps watchers at the edge of their seat. Alex's complex and relatable relationship with his crush offers brilliant social commentary on how technology influences our relationships today. Gene's struggles to accept his differences and be accepted by society present a struggle the likes of which have never been protrayed on film. The emotional roller-coaster of story is concluded with an unexpected heart-warming happy ending.
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