Gene Meh is the main "protagonist" of the critically panned 2017 film The Emoji Movie. He is an emoji who, unlike the other emojis in Textopolis, is diagnosed with a malfunction that causes him to have multiple expressions. Determined to have a normal expression like all of the other emojis, he enlists the help of Hi-5 (his best friend) and Jailbreak (whom he develops a crush on). He is voiced by T.J. Miller.
Why He's 😒
- Gene is nothing more than just another overused basic and cliched "the odd one out misunderstood protagonist". In fact, he is enough of a badly written character that he makes good protagonists like Emmet Brickowski from The Lego Movie and Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph look bad.
- He is unfunny, unlikable in some ways (mainly in relation to his irresponsible actions, and in some cases, unintendedly), and clumsy.
- His design is uncanny, even for Sony Animation standards. He looks like a yellow rejection of Mike Wazowski from the Monsters Inc. franchise, or a yellow spherical creature with limbs.
- His romantic relationship with Jailbreak is just forced, bland and dull.
- One of the main complaints with The Emoji Movie is that Gene is supposed to be the main protagonist, but he caused more damage than the main antagonist, almost got everyone killed and deleted, and somehow, we are supposed to root for him.
- Speaking of which, the writers did a very awful job representing the characters' roles in the movie. Smiler is depicted as the villain even though all she wanted to do was to protect the Emojis world while Gene, despite being the protagonist, was the one really responsible for all the troubles that happened in the movie, he even caused the death of many characters such as the trolls and the Just Dance girl and almost caused the entire phone to almost have its data deleted. Basically, the movie tries to force viewers to like the protagonist and to despise the villain without giving the usual proper characterization to them as a reason to do this.
- At least he redeemed himself by saving Textopolis by being an animated emoji showing that Alex loves Addie.
- The only reason Gene is a misunderstood protagonist is that his father was also diagnosed with the malfunction that he has.
- He does care about other people around him, including his friends. He even explains this to Jailbreak right after Hi-5 goes into the phone's recycle bin.
- T.J. Miller plays him decently, despite wasting his talents.