At its best, this seems like a second-rate version of Pixar's Inside Out. At its worst, it's a cash-grab based on a cynical high-level concept.
The film is boldly bad, yes, but also boldly boring.
There's a justifiable self-loathing running through The Emoji Movie, a fragile attempt to (sigh) deconstruct the meaning of Emojis while also (sigh) demonstrating the profound possibility that Emojis are the language of the future.
Disregard that PG rating and keep your children far away from director Tony Leondis' vile animated faux-comedy. Beneath its trippy surface lurks an insidious philosophy hazardous to impressionable minds.
A demonstration of artistic abdication at its most venal, but will the kids like it?
Hear that? It's the end of the world.
There could be far worse ways to spend 86 minutes. But maybe, just maybe, it'd be the better choice to spend those 86 minutes outside, or reading a book, or talking face-to-face with another human being. Because The Emoji Movie could not be more meh.
This movie's "believe in yourself" message is borne out, in a perverse way, by the very fact that it even exists. And yet the whole thing remains nakedly idiotic.
The good news is The Emoji Movie, co-written and directed by Tony Leondis, is not evil. The bad news is it's just mediocre, or in emoji parlance, simply "meh."