The Emoji Movie

Composed By: Patrick Doyle

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the animated film, The Emoji Movie, we are introduced to the secret world within your smartphone.  Hidden in the messaging app is the bustling city of Textopolis, haven of emojis who are just waiting to be selected by their phone user.  Each emoji has its own special facial expression, except for Gene (T.J. Miller) who was somehow born without a filter and has the ability to burst out in multiple expressions.  Determined to be just like every other emoji, Gene asks his best friend Hi-5 (James Corden) and code breaker emoji Jailbreaker (Anna Faris) for help.  They embark on an epic adventure through the apps on the phone in an effort to find some way to fix Gene’s “affliction.”  But when a greater danger threatens the phone, it will be up to Gene, Hi-5 and Jailbreaker to save all of the emojis in Textopolis before it’s deleted forever!

                The musical score of The Emoji Movie was created by classically trained Scottish composer Patrick Doyle.  Having graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in 1975, Doyle has created musical scores for over fifty feature films, collaborating with a plethora of acclaimed directors, including Ang Lee, Mike Newel, Robert Altman, Brian De Palma and Kenneth Branagh.  He was made a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music in 1975.    Some of Patrick Doyle’s scoring credits include Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Gosford Park, Sense and Sensibility, Indochine, Carlito's Way, A Little Princess, Henry V, Hamlet, Frankenstein and Thor.

The Emoji Movie features a mix of orchestral and electronic music.  That’s only fitting, considering the digital technology the movie’s characters represent.  Thus, we have a rather digitized theme for Gene and his friends.  The music has that quirky animated comedy feel in the beginning, but, at the adventures mount and Gene, Hi-5 and Jailbreaker hop from app to app, the music takes on more of an action feel, with a fast pace and a sense of urgency.  Things become a bit sad and desperate sounding as the emojis come close to deletion, but the music gets more upbeat as Gene realizes his potential.  Good Vibrations is a fun song performed by Ricky Reed.  It kind of has that Pharrell Williams Happy feel in which the singer discusses how happy he is feeling: “I feel so good I might just, I might just, I might just / Sing off key / Dance with two left feet / Won't let nobody / Take my happy from me.”

I found the musical score of The Emoji Movie to be quite entertaining and definitely representative of the film’s storyline.  The electronic/digitized sound was perfect for the digitized world of Textopolis and the various apps Gene finds himself traveling through.  The action sequences coupled with the quirky music in comical moments is definitely what I would expect from this animated film score and Patrick Doyle delivers.  A fun listen.


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