Steven Wright Joins the Vocal Cast as Mel Meh
CULVER CITY, Calif., December 20, 2016 – Today, Sony Pictures Animation launches the world’s first-ever vertical movie trailer designed especially for mobile users supporting the highly anticipated family comedy The Emoji Movie, the computer animated adventure that unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. For the first 24 hours, the trailer will be optimized for mobile users and best viewed on the phone. Mobile moviegoers can see the teaser trailer for The Emoji Movie at http://bit.ly/EmojiTeaseFB and an extended version in theaters nationwide this Wednesday.
Simultaneously, the studio announced that it is teaming up with the most popular apps on your phone to bring The Emoji Movie to life in a way that every mobile user will recognize. The teaser trailer will launch with these partners and others equaling a social footprint of nearly 700 million followers.
The teaser trailer features the vocal performance of Steven Wright, who joins the cast as Mel Meh, the father of T. J. Miller’s character, Gene. The Emoji Movie will be released in theaters nationwide on August 4, 2017.
In the movie, Gene, an emoji born with multiple expressions, teams up with his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious codebreaker Jailbreak on an epic adventure through the apps on a teenager's phone. Apps featured in the film include Candy Crush Saga, Dropbox, Instagram, Just Dance, Spotify, Twitter, and YouTube. Popular apps Crackle, Facebook, Shazam, Snapchat, and Twitch also appear in the movie.
Some apps are presented as standalone worlds of their own that come to life in thrilling ways. In the music streaming app Spotify, characters ride rushing streams made of music. In Candy Crush Saga, our heroes are trapped inside the game board and must play through the levels in order to survive.
Tony Leondis, the director of the film, said, "Everyone – from your preschooler to your grandmother –sends emojis every day to share love, frustration, happiness... We all have an immediate connection with these icons that we send out as ways to express ourselves, and it paved the way for a very rich story and characters that audiences of all ages and backgrounds will be able to relate to."
Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation, added, "We knew early on that we wanted actual apps in the movie, to ground it in reality and raise the stakes for our characters. The fact that each app we approached said yes right away was an incredible testament to how engaging and relevant this movie is."
The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene (T.J. Miller), an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become "normal" like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Ilana Glazer). Together, they embark on an epic "app-venture" through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever. Directed by Tony Leondis. Written by Tony Leondis & Eric Siegel and Mike White. Produced by Michelle Raimo Kouyate.
ABOUT SONY PICTURES ANIMATION
Sony Pictures Animation produces a variety of animated and family entertainment for audiences around the world. The studio is following its worldwide comedy hits-the record-breaking monster comedies HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA and HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, the hybrid live action/animated blockbusters THE SMURFS and THE SMURFS 2, and the mouth-watering CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS movies-with the fully animated reboot SMURFS: THE LOST VILLAGE in April 2017; a surprising and comic take at the secret world inside our phones with EMOJIMOVIE: EXPRESS YOURSELF in August 2017; the inspirational story THE STAR (working title) in December 2017; HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 in September 2018; and an animated SPIDER-MAN feature from the minds of directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord in December 2018. The studio, in conjunction with Aardman Animations, has produced two critically acclaimed feature films: the CG-animated family comedy ARTHUR CHRISTMAS; and the Academy Award® nominated stop-frame animated high-seas adventure, THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS. In 2007, SURF'S UP also received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. The division, whose first feature film OPEN SEASON led to a very successful movie franchise including the brand new OPEN SEASON: SCARED SILLY now available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray, turned 10 in 2012. Sony Pictures Animation is a division of the Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group.
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SVP, Media Relations
Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group
Vice President, Publicity & Corporate Communications
Sony Pictures Animation