Sreenwriters Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith have Ron's Gone Wrong this watchable if very derivative animated movie about a lonely, bullied kid’s malfunctioning robot best friend a cheeky tech spin on ET, with some borrowings from the Disney feature Big Hero 6 and the Pixar meisterwerk Wall-E. It’s entertaining, though composed with algorithmic precision, and it winds up suspiciously neutral about whether kids really should abandon digital enslavement in favour of real-life human friends.
Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) is from a poor Bulgarian-immigrant family in small-town America. His dad, Graham (Ed Helms) is a sad widower scraping a living selling novelties over the web, and his comedy Borat-gran Donka (Olivia Colman) keeps goats and chickens. Barney is deeply ashamed of his poverty, his asthma and his failure to fit in he is regularly forced to sit on the school’s buddy bench during recess by the well-meaning teacher, begging for people to hang out with him.
Above all, Barney is ashamed that his family can’t afford to buy him a B-Bot, Ron's Gone Wrong Full Movie Watch Online the new must-have toy a waist-high. R2-D2-shaped robot that follows you around hooks you up to social media records video plays games and knows all your tastes and hobbies. These gizmos are marketed by the Bubble corporation, run by twentysomething ex-nerd Marc (Justice Smith), who believes the B-Bots will help kids make friends. Marc’s senior partner and majority investor is the coldly calculating Andrew Morris (Rob Delaney), who, we are given to understand, is the corporate bad guy as opposed to Marc being the corporate good guy. That neutrality again.
Poor Barney’s humiliation and wretchedness reach a low point when his dad buys him a damaged B-Bot that fell off the truck. Because it’s all he can afford a B-Bot that boots up incorrectly (with the old dial-up sound) and is all wonky and wrong. But this dodgy B-Bot. Ron (Zach Galifianakis), turns out to be wildly good fun with its hilariously inappropriate behaviour and it beats up the bullies. The corporation wants to reclaim this rogue unit, so Barney has to hide his wonderful new best friend.
The movie runs with touch-screen efficiency and there are some genuinely tender moments when Barney is brought face-to-face with his own misery. When Ron hears that Barney doesn’t have a mother, he says thoughtfully: “She was returned to the factory?” Barney himself, with his short hair and big ears, looks poignantly, if perhaps unintentionally, like the kid on the front of Mad magazine.
The film is ultimately faced with a dilemma – should Ron finally “go home” in the ET sense, having done his job by teaching Barney and all his basically good-hearted friends to do without these expensive, soulless toys? Or should all the mean-girl and mean-boy B-Bots be reprogrammed to be like nice, lovable Ron? (But wait: wasn’t the whole point that real friendship has nothing to do with narcissistic tech gadgetry?) Well, the movie never quite settles that question, although Baynham and Smith would be entitled to point out that digital tech and social media are here to stay and a movie that earnestly them on young people’s behalf wouldn’t be realistic.
This is a good-natured film that works best in its opening act – when Barney himself is the substandard robot, whose software somehow makes him unacceptable in the world.
Ron’s Gone Wrong screened at the BFI London Film Festival, and is released on 15 October in the UK, 21 October canada Ron's Gone Wrong, in Australia, and 22 October in the US.
If you’ve ever watched “Big Hero 6” and thought, “But what if Baymax was little and Polish,” then rejoice, because “Ron’s Gone Wrong” is pretty much exactly that. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing if the story held any of the warmth that the earlier robot movie captured.
But directors Jean-Phillipe Vine and Sarah Smith (who also co-wrote the script with Peter Baynham) remove all the emotion that made “Big Hero 6” an enveloping, heartfelt story about grief. Instead, “Ron’s Gone Wrong” offers partially realized messaging about social media while populating the story with elementary sight gags, too many overused “fish out of water” tropes, and attractive merchandise options.
All middle schooler Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) wants is to fit in with everyone else in middle school. But the socially awkward youngster is a little different than most of his peers. His mom is dead (it’s always a dead mom, sigh), and his dad (Ed Helms) works multiple jobs to provide for Barney and his Polish immigrant grandmother, Donka (a heavily accented Olivia Colman).
While Barney is used to not getting the newest things, he secretly hopes that his family will finally get him the most popular gadget in his middle school: a B-bot, aka Best Friend out of the Box. Official Ratting 8.3 Release October 1 United States.
charging port for them in their hallway. And, unknown to his dad, Barney hides during every school break as every kid is off playing with their b-bots. But his father, both on a budget and not wanting his son to get sucked into gadgets for his whole life, gifts him a rock collector set, which Barney warmly thanks him for as to not to hurt his dad’s feelings.
Eventually, his dad sees how lonely his son is and relents. Barney is ecstatic and immediately tries to get “Ron” ready for his middle school debut. Soon, however, Barney starts to notice that Ron might not be like all the other b-bots. Chaos ensues, Barney makes friends, and in the end, no lessons are learned.
Filmmakers often take inspiration from other films and properties and build that inspiration to the story. But here, it seems that directors Smith and Vine, along with co-director Octavio E. Rodriguez (“Coco”), only imbued the film with is the cute “boy and his pal” film trope that has been a favorite for family films from “E.T.” to “Lassie.” Or at least, that’s how it comes off when sight gags try to compensate for the lack of emotional filler.
The scarcity of poignancy isn’t for lack of trying; on the contrary, there is a definite message about society’s overattachment to being connected 24/7 and the detriment it can cause children. Still, that moral gets so deeply buried, it presents less as a theme and more as a side note.
Watching as the parent of a teenager, I had hoped the storyline for Savannah (Kylie Cantrall) would carry more weight. To espouse the dangers of social media (particularly with what is going on with Facebook and Instagram at the moment) and to show a young girl clearly being traumatized, only to offer no honest advice or solution to the young kids watching is just performative inaction at this point, sending whatever relatability or real-life connection right into the trash chute. The video causing her pain just gets erased, which we know isn’t how the internet works.
The animation, for its part, doesn’t move the needle forward. It’s bright, lively, and yes, the b-bots are adorable. After watching the film, every child will likely want their own Ron, which just proves how poorly conceived the message is. It’s a complicated journey for the Disney-owned 20th Century Studios, to sell a film about the dangers of social media and hyperconnectivity while also hoping the character becomes a must-have toy for kids. That complicated relationship ultimately dulls the entire movie.