Lifestyle: Emojis Hit the Big Screen

I am guilty of swapping out words for the popular picture characters available on my iPhone. I send heart emojis to my friends instead of typing out “I love you.” I search for the amused face with waterfall-like tears rather than writing an abbreviated “LOL.”

For those like myself with a smartphone, the keyboard filled with cute, cartoon icons has become a staple in daily conversation. These ideograms often replace words in text correspondence and caption photos on Instagram and Twitter feeds. Because a single image connotes an emotion or thought in less time and space than complete sentences, their demand in our already abridged vernacular seems appropriate.

What’s more, diehard fans of these emoticons will soon be able to see their favorite characters on a different type of screen–one much larger than that on their handheld cellular devices.

In a three-way bidding war, Sony Pictures Animation beat out Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures for the rights to an emoji movie. The six-figure project will be spearheaded by Eric Siegel and Anthony Leondis, the director of the children’s film Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters.

The movie announcement came at a time when box office numbers seem to favor quirky, animated stories. Popular culture has become inundated with Minions, made marketable from the animated film Despicable Me. Even Lego figures have become widespread icons since the release of The Lego Movie. Following in the lucrative trend, our emoji friends may be the next caricature celebrities.

Although the premise of the movie’s plot is still undetermined, there appears to be endless possibilities based on the emoji library, which is comprised of 58 yellow faces, 15 families, and 10 couples. The emoji database also features 42 flags, meaning the movie can take place in several locations. The characters can travel to and from these various cities on one of 12 different trains.

However the storyline plays out, Sony Pictures Animation better study the Emojipedia, which provides the official unicode names of each character. Considering there has been large debate over what certain symbols truly represent, the movie theatre could be a great place to hash that all out. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting to see if my favorites will make their cinematic debut.

Feature photo courtesy of The All-Nite Images.