The last time I thought about "The Emoji Movie" was during my... Well I wouldn't call it a review because I'm not a critic, and I wouldn't call it a reaction because I had time to process how I felt about it... So let's say my "reflection". The last time I thought about "The Emoji Movie" was during my reflection on how I felt after watching the film in its entirety. Like nearly everyone else in the world, I was left unimpressed and generally neutral to negative. It really was a shame because I liked the character designs, and the voice cast, but it was all so bland and amounted to nothing.
But I started thinking... isn't this the right opportunity to create a better sequel? I mean, there's nowhere to go but up! They couldn't possibly do any worse. If anything, all this negative feedback could empower the creators to work even harder the second time around. And look, I'm not a filmmaker or anything, but I think it'd be amazing if they just went from 0 - 1000 on this franchise. Make it like how "Gremlins 2" was to the original "Gremlins". Go nuts with it! That'd me my approach.
So this would be my take on a sequel if I was somehow entrusted with making a direct follow up to "The Emoji Movie":
So, the first film ended with Gene saving the day with his ability to mimic any sort of emoji emotion. Gene and Jailbreak ended up together, and Textopolis was now an all inclusive community with the defeat of Smiler and her control over it.
Now, I would take this story back to Jailbreaks initial scheme; trying to escape conformity by leaving Textopolis and hacking into the cloud except now she plans on taking everyone with her because the boy who originally used the smartphone they all exist in is already in the process of buying a new phone. An existential crisis takes over the denizens of Textopolis and the smartphone as a whole, and they all decide to jump shop while they still can. To make matters worse, Smiler returns and plans to commit total genocide by wiping out all the emojis herself because if she can't have control no one should be allowed to exist. Smiler unleashes a phone virus that can only be described as some sort of Lovecraftian beast. She had been keeping it in her office all this time after finding it in a sPam email. Gene and Jailbreak are forced to go their seperate ways because Gene wants to battle with the virus and save everyone, while Jailbreak has to figure out how to hack everyone out of the smartphone. Both plots end up zig-zagging for a while until Jailbreak finally breaks the barrier that sends all the emojis into the real world, along with the virus monster.
The virus grows bigger and bigger until it is the size of Godzilla, and it starts ripping the city apart. Buildings are toppled, property is destroyed, and human and emoji bodies are all scattered all across the land. Gene and Jailbreak end up teaming up with the teacher from the first emoji movie, who turns out to be a wacky theoretical physicist. The teacher and Jailbreak decide to hack Genes code and transform him into a mirror version of the virus monster, and now there are two giant beasts tearing up the city.
Jailbreak comes to the conclusion that the only way to save everyone is to forcefully reboot everything so they can all end up exactly where they need to be so that a natural order can be restored. The teacher tries to tell her that it's not possible, but after Jailbreak hacks into not only Fort Knox, NASA, but also the Giant Hadron Collider, she decides there must be a way. The teacher tries to stop her, but it's too late; she imputs the same code she used to escape the smartphone into the computer, and around the world time begins to slow down, then speed up, and then there's a massive explosion.... the earth is destroyed... then slowly, very slowly, the earth starts to reform itself, and it gets faster, as if it's healing. Then we see evolution take place again from scratch, seeing creatures step out of the ocean, small reptiles and mammals, dinosaurs, mammoths, etc., until the dawn of man, then man and language by showing them draw on the walls creating the first emojis... fast forward again and everything is back to normal.
Gene finds Jailbreak staring into the sky, confused and dazed. He asks what happened. Jailbreak tells him that they've been through that cycle millions of times before. and she can't seem to think of a way to escape it. Humans and emojis exist in a yin-yang existence where they both need one another. Jailbreak feels trapped, but then Gene has the bright idea of merging dimensions. If both dimensions need to exist, why not just make it all just one big dimension. Cut to, like, a pop song and a dance number with all the emojis and people living together or something. The end.
I don't know. Something like that I guess. Something way out there that might give people strange reactions and children nightmares. It's not the best plot I could come up with either. I think it took me less than five minutes to come up with. Gene takes a backseat in this one only because I think his character-arc is already done and over with. Plus, I think Jailbreak needs more to her story. She was kind of great but there wasn't enough focus on her. And Smiler was a really creepy passive-aggressive villain.
Oh geez I think I'm actually a fan of "The Emoji Movie"... This wasn't meant to happen! What have I done!!!