Synopsis: “The story of Barney, an awkward middle-schooler and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device. Ron’s malfunctions set against the backdrop of the social media age launch them on a journey to learn about true friendship.”
Best friends are hard to come by. Introducing yourself to someone new, as an adult or even as a kid, is a nerve wracking thing. But what if you could buy a best friend? Right out of the box, they know everything about you, they are programable to be your BFF for life. And they also come with apps. That’s the premise of Ron’s Gone Wrong, the first animated film from Locksmith Animation.
This new film, under the 20th Century Fox and Disney confusing umbrella, seems to have slipped under the radar of most animated Pixar loving fans. Yet it should be high on any animation lovers list. Ron’s Gone Wrong had the whole theatre of kids and adults laughing, crying and sighing out loud like an interactive midnight showing. The entire time I was feeling that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs meets The Mitchell’s vs. The Machines vibes, much to my geeky delight.
Ron’s Gone Wrong centers around a sort of outcast boy, Barney, voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer. He doesn’t really have any friends and he’s navigating middle school the best he can. What makes life even more difficult is the fact everyone he knows has an interactive best friend robot, known as a B-bot. If you don’t have a B-bot, well you’re not really part of the social circle of the online world. Barney’s loving family is struggling to keep the wifi on but know that Barney wants a B-bot more than anything in the world. His grandma and father find a scratch and dent B-bot and gift Barney the friend he’s been dreaming of. Out of the defective box comes Ron, voiced by Zach Galifianakis. Ron’s not like any other B-bot and what starts as a challenge for Barney ends up being the adventure of a lifetime with the added bonus of a new true best friend.
Animated films have this advantage of teaching us real life lessons with unbelievable story lines. Ron’s Gone Wrong is a film rooted in this insane robot best friend world but it’s in a sense our real world now. Lot’s of kids have iPhones and all the other gadgets that connect them to the social media epicenter. Imagine not having that connection and feeling outcast by the fact you don’t have a like or a friend request at all times. Ron’s Gone Wrong does an amazing job of capturing the world of social media in the eyes of kids today. There was something under that perfectly voiced little robot exterior that had me happy this topic was being addressed.
Honestly I wasn’t expecting Ron’s Gone Wrong to be so good. It had me laughing and cheering aloud for every character to end up with that happy ending. Did I secretly push those tears away a few times knowing kids around me were definitely not crying? Yes, but don’t tell anyone or those kids are gunna think I’m lame. Seriously though, this movie was adorable and sweet. It was the perfect little film to make you smile. No one’s family got killed in the first ten minutes, no animals were harmed and the high brow jokes were for adults alike.
I can’t quite explain it but Ron’s Gone Wrong is so right. Yes, it’s an animated silly movie that has plot lines you weren’t quite expecting but it’s still something that made me walk out smiling ear to ear. I wasn’t looking for those Nolan twists, I wasn’t in the mood for deep artsy feeling and A24 creeping around. I was looking for a film that made me feel cozy and happy. And that’s what this film was. Nothing deep and film student thesis about it, but that’s what was great.
Ron’s Gone Wrong was the hug out of left field I did not see coming. That adorable little robot. That cute plot line. All the feels washed over me like an update I wasn’t ready for. I would recommend Ron’s Gone Wrong to everyone looking for that little smirk and chuckle in your movie going world. What’s even better is the fact you’ll be able to watch Ron very soon since it will be available for streaming on December 15th on both HBO Max and Disney+. I’m telling you, it’s not a wrong choice at all.
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Writer. Geek. Final Girl.