“The best animated movies are not just goofy little silly things running around,” observes Tony Leondis, an industry veteran since he started as a story artist on the 1998
This sends Gene on a journey of escape and discovery through the phone’s apps – Candy Crush, Spotify, Just Dance, YouTube, piracy, etc – in hopes of reaching the legendary Cloud, where he believes he can be fixed.
Fearing – rightly – that Gene’s glitch will cause Alex to wipe his phone (and their world), Texto-polis’ ever-upbeat evil honcho Smiler (Maya Rudolph) essentially tries to have him deleted.
But Gene was born without a filter, and when it’s time to upload his image to the internet, he gets so nervous that an insanely incomprehensible picture of conflicting feelings is sent to a girl Alex likes instead.
It’s the main problem for protagonist Gene, voiced by T.J. Miller. He, like all his digital race, is supposed to express one idea – in Gene’s case, it’s “meh” – in texts, posts and e-mails made by the phone’s owner, a teenage boy named Alex.