Middle school can be a hard time for some kids, especially those that don’t quite fit in and are a little socially awkward. This can also make it quite difficult to make friends. But in Ron’s Gone Wrong, social tech giant Bubble are releasing their latest creation into the world, a pill shaped robot “Best friend in a box” (aka B-Bot) that is designed to help kids form relationships through a social algorithm.
But all doesn’t go to plan for Barney when he receives his very own B-Bot for his birthday. Barney’s B-Bot, named Ron, is not like everyone else’s, having issues with his software that make him unique to all the others and a target of his creators at Bubble. Barney must do all he can to save Ron and keep his new friend safe, which takes us on a wild ride.
Surprisingly, Ron’s Gone Wrong doesn’t have a huge star-studded cast (at least to me) that you’ve come to expect from these kinds of films. To be honest, I actually found this quite refreshing and preferable to not bank on a big name and just let the film speak for itself. Zach Galifianakis is probably the biggest name on the roll sheet, who voices robot Ron. But Zach’s voice is masked slightly with a robotic filter, making it less recognisable, which I think was a great choice. Zach’s comedic timing shines through with his voice acting and delivers some great laughs and a lot of emotion and heart.
But I need to also give some praise to Jack Dylan Grazer, this being one of his first major roles for his voice work as Barney. Jack delivers a roller coaster performance and flexes his voice acting muscles extremely well. At the ripe ages of 18, I can see a long career ahead for Jack both on-screen and in the voice booth.
I seriously loved the storyline and character development of Ron’s Gone Wrong. Sure, it’s not the first film to take aim at big tech and social media, but it’s themes and commentary seemed very relevant with recent events. It carries great heart and humour, to not be too serious. But also touches on bullying, anxiety and not fitting in with the social norms. For me as an adult, it had a great moral and I’m sure that this will also translate to the younger viewers of Ron’s Gone Wrong. It just works on so many levels and I loved that about this film.
The animation style is pretty typical with current trends, but I really loved how the B-Bots were animated in this film. The way that they can change skins and themes was really cool and so colourful. I kind of wish they were real and that I could get one!
I’ve got to admit that I didn’t really notice the soundtrack much. The overall score was good and suited the action on-screen, but any of the bigger songs kind of just fell flat or blended into the background, which is a little bit of a shame if you ask me. It’s always fun to have that ear worm in a film that you can keep singing for days after seeing it, but that was not the case for Ron’s Gone Wrong.
As you can probably already tell, I loved this movie! It is a perfect combination of a great story, solid performances and quality animation that brew up a fun, colourful and hearty film. But I think it’s the moral of the story that really knocks it out of the park for me. I was a bit socially awkward as a kid and could see a bit of myself in Barney, which really let me relate to his story and dive into this film. Please, get out there and see Ron’s Gone Wrong, you won’t regret it!