In The Emoji Movie, digital characters travel from app to app as they travel on their adventure, and most will recognize the names of these various locations (from Instagram to Spotify). One specific brand that isn't used, however, is the actual brand of phone that the movie takes place within -- and according to director Tony Leondis, it caused a fair number of headaches as the project was moving through development. Discussing his work on the film, Leondis recently said,
Back in January, I drove out to the headquarters of Sony Pictures Animation for a presentation of their upcoming slate of films, and had the opportunity to take part in an Emoji Movie press roundtable with Tony Leondis and star T.J. Miller (who plays Gene, a 'Meh' emoji, in the film). During the broad discussion of the animated feature the world building that went into its creation, the director was asked about the model of phone that the human character, Alex (Jake T. Austin), uses in the film. Rather than confirming that the device is either an Apple or Android, Leondis instead explained the legal complications involved in making sure it appeared to be specifically neither.
You can take a look at the phone's final design in The Emoji Movie below:
As Tony Leondis confirmed, the legal complications went beyond just the design of the phone. Because there are so many different emoji apps/keyboards available nowadays, the filmmakers had to find a way to make sure that all of the characters in The Emoji Movie look legitimately unique. As you can see from the top image, a big part of this is just general shape and features, but they even had to identify their own specific hue of yellow. I followed up with the director asking if there was a special shade they wound up using, and even to T.J. Miller's amazement, Leondis responded in the affirmative:
Based on a script co-written by Tony Leondis and Eric Siegel, The Emoji Movie is primarily set within the world of your average smartphone and tells the story of the various emojis that thousands use on a daily basis. The story centers on Gene, who is raised to be a 'Meh' emjoi, but unlike most of his kind is able to feel many different emotions. When this winds up causing serious issues for him within his community, he sets out on an adventure with his friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and a hacker named Jailbreak (Anna Faris) to try and become normal. The large ensemble cast alson incudes Sofia Vergara, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Coolidge, Christina Aguilera, and Maya Rudolph.
NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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