Emoji Movie, The 4K UltraHD

WSR Score4
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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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Rude humor.
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A, B, C
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Tony Leondis
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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The animated comedy, 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 our 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 (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 (Corden) and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak (Faris). 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. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director Tony Leondis and animators; an original Hotel Transylvania short Puppy! (HD 05:00); 11 featurettes: Jailbreak Decoded: The Untold Story (HD 01:56), “Good Vibrations” Dance Along (HD 02:38), “Good Vibrations” Lyric Video (HD 03:49), Express Yourself: Meet The Cast (HD06:45), Girls Can Code! (HD 05:40), Choreographing Emoji With Matt Steffanina (HD 03:33), Creating The World Inside Your Phone (HD 04:38), Bringing Emojis To Life (HD 03:22), How To Draw Poop (HD 03:33), How To Draw Gene (HD 03:17), and Sweet App-etite: Make Your Own Candy Crush Inspired Saga Cake (HD 06:24); Gimme A Hand! Guess The Emoji Game (HD 05:37); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was produced digitally and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. The animated imagery is wonderful with fine detail exhibited throughout. The color palette is enhanced with HDR and a wide color gamut that really excites a world of saturated hues that really pop. Bright highlights enhance the wide dynamic range, along with deep, solid blacks. Primary colors are strong, along with a very wide range of secondary colors, all of which beam with bright intensity. This is a wonderful, colorful picture with clever animation and loads of visual diversity that will entertain the family, especially the little ones, who will be fascinated with the engaging animation. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is very much dialogue focused, with a very active and lively music score that is spread wide and deep across the soundstage and aggressively extends to the four surround channels. ADR dialogue is intelligible throughout with excellent fidelity.

The Immersive sound element is primarily an extension of the music score, which nicely varies in intensity as the visual extend upwards. Other elements are the occasional voice, crowd noises, atmospherics, and sound effects, which are often effective in providing sonic immersion. In one segment an announcer’s voice about “leaving dropbox” and another “welcome to the firewall” are aggressively heard overhead to superb effect. The overhead channels are virtually active at all times, sometimes at levels that can be discerned without isolating the signals. Deep bass is not attention-grabbing, except for an occasional powerful .1 LFE extension, but provides a solid foundation to the proceedings. Directionalized surrounds and overheads are also engaging sonically. This is a very effective Immersive Sound application that virtually never lets up on some degree of overhead energy. Even though it is the extension of the music score that mostly provides the Immersive Sound element, there is enough other sound element support to provide an engaging holosonic® spherical surround experience. And the ear-channel sonics are lively and aggressively dimensional, for a reference-quality experience overall. (Gary Reber)