The Emoji Story (VOD) – Documentary Review
Follow Genre: Documentary
Director: Martha Shane, Ian Cheney
Distributor: Utopia Distribution
Duration: 81 minutes

The Emoji Story (VOD) – Documentary Review

Site Score
Good: Covers every side of the emoji, the origin, the future, personal stories
Bad: Feels stretched at times, could also use a more compact approach
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Emojis. You can’t get past them. They influence our daily lives so much. Hell; you might even use one when you send somebody the link with this review! The Emoji Story (also known as Picture Character) dives deep into the origin, future, and use of our beloved emojis. Where do they come from, and why do more keep coming? What makes it that one emoji gets accepted into our society and another barred from any possible implementation? These and more questions, as well as personal stories, in The Emoji Story.

Emojis are such a fascinating subject, because, while we might use them on a daily basis, barely anybody knows the origin or the process behind them. The Emoji Story is here to change that. Starting off in the present, it shows how big emojis actually became in our current time and age. The documentary then hits you with some interesting facts, such as that the word emoji actually comes from the Japanese, meaning Picture Character. This is quite a fitting description for pictures that we use as a replacement for words and sometimes even complete sentences. Invented as a way to give some emphasis to our texts and how we feel about certain phrases, the emoji has a lot of overlapping elements with how regular language found its way. Traditionally, simple drawings formed characters that gave meaning to words.

Facts such as these and others all come forward in The Emoji Story, and they are beautifully merged with animations that completely fit the style of emojis. Partially looking for objects and people that fit the cinematic point-of-view telling us more about the emojis in general, The Emoji Story fills up other parts with an animated phone, showing texts and pictures or infographic-style graphics to emphasize the points it’s trying to make. It’s accessible, understandable, and most importantly, it offers some information that’s actually interesting. All of this is sometimes accompanied by music that’s relevant to the emoji concept, including the song and background story of Brooklyn Queen – Emoji.

Background stories are important to The Emoji Story, as it follows numeral people who are of influence related to the ever-growing emoji database. From the creator of the first emoji to a young girl who wondered why there are no hijab emojis present in today’s world. People who are looking to see their culture represented, people who simply want to be part of something new, The Emoji Story manages to take all these things and humans and charts a map with it. It’s aiming for a map giving you as much information as possible, as clearly as possible. Perhaps, at times, a bit too much information is given. While all of it is of importance, some pieces could have been cut down more to avoid the documentary being well over an hour. While The Emoji Story has plenty of good parts, there are still those that feel slightly dragged out.

Partially, this is also because this is a documentary that really tries to cover all fronts, including the process of getting an emoji admitted to the universe as we know it (iOS and Android mostly). This includes the Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) going over submissions and sparks a discussion of the freedom of language versus an oversaturation on the market if people would get their way. All this depth together forms The Emoji Story, and it’s simply a great pleasure to watch and a vault of information at the same time, provided you can see past the length of the documentary.


The Emoji Story has past, present, and future combined into a single documentary. It shows the origin, the human side, and the issues we encounter when trying to handle emojis in our everyday life. It’s a documentary that shows high-value production in its animation, while also being accessible, and nice to watch.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
The Emoji Story (VOD) - Documentary Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.