1857: Emoji Movie
Title text: Some other studio should do the Antz/A Bug's Life thing and release The Dingbats Movie at the same time.
Megan asks Cueball if he knows about the upcoming The Emoji Movie. This real movie, set to come out on 28 July 2017, had been widely reviled on the Internet for its lack of original plot, characters, and jokes. Cueball responds to the topic by damning it with faint praise, starting with the presumption that a film has to be made about a "section of Unicode".
Unicode is the standard by which almost all modern text, in all languages, is represented as computer data. It consists of thousands of "code points", grouped into about 280 contiguous sections known as "blocks". There is no formal term "section of Unicode", which Randall seems to be using to skirt the fact that Emojis are not all represented within one Unicode block.
Examples of potential Unicode blocks include "Playing Cards", "Musical Symbols", "Tibetan", "Hangul Jamo Extended-B", "Braille Patterns" – and of course "Combining diacritical marks" and "Dingbats", referred to in the comic.
There is actually no Unicode block known as "Emojis". There is Emoticons (Unicode block) (U+1F600..U+1F64F), which contains 80 code points, mostly of facial expressions. However it does not include all Emojis. For instance, "Baby" (👶) is U+1F476, within the Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictographs block.
The topic of emoji in Unicode also appears in 1813: Vomiting Emoji.
Megan responds to this presumption by facetiously suggesting that Hollywood should try making a movie about Combining Diacritical Marks (see 1647: Diacritics), a different section of Unicode which contains 112 code points (each assigned to a character). This is a fairly typical number of code points for a code block, and is much fewer than, for instance, "Egyptian Hieroglyphs" (1,071) or "CJK Unified Ideographs Extension B" (42,720)
Cueball quips that this series would have too many characters. This is a pun on the word "character", which has the double meaning of a fictional character, or a symbol which corresponds to a grapheme (e.g. letter, digit, punctuation mark).
The "Antz/A Bug's Life thing" in the title text refers to the twin films phenomenon, in which two films with very similar (or identical) concepts are released within roughly the same timeframe. Competing studios Dreamworks and Pixar released their respective insect-oriented films in 1998, a year infamous for many other such film pairings (see the Wikipedia article for a full list). Dingbats (as opposed to the more familiar wingdings and webdings) were character sets that displayed symbols contained in square boxes.
- [Megan and Cueball are walking together while Megan is looking at her smartphone.]
- Megan: Did you see there's an emoji movie?
- Cueball: If they have to make a movie about a section of Unicode, it's not the worst choice...
- Megan: They should do a whole series. I would watch the Combining Diacritical Marks movie.
- Cueball: That series would have way too many characters.
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