Movie Review: Ron’s Gone Wrong. Social Media Addiction Mixed With E.T.

Ron’s Gone Wrong is the first animated feature film from 20th Century Animation under Disney and the very first animated film from 20th Century since the closure of Blue Sky Studios in February 2021. The film is a co-pProduction with TSG Entertainment and Locksmith Animation, making this film a United States-United Kingdom production.

Warning: Minor Spoilers Ahead.

The film follows Barney Pudowski (Jack Dylan Grazer), a young boy who seemingly has no friends. When tech giant Bubble releases a new robot friend named B-Bot, Barney is able to get his hands on one. The robot’s name is Ron (Zachary Knight Galifianakis), but when Barney powers him on something isn’t right.

Clearly having issues understanding things about the world around him Barney tries to teach him what it means to be a “friend”, while also trying to avoid Ron being recalled by the Bubble Company who sees his deficiency as a threat to their company’s stock.

The film follows the usual “Hide the creature” story in films like E.T. or the first How To Train Your Dragon. The film also touches upon how addictive social media can be, showing that your online “friends” aren’t always really friends. That if you want friends you need to go out into the real world and make one.

The Bubble Company is an obvious stand-in for companies like Apple, with the film’s antagonist, Andrew Morris (Rob Delaney), seems to be a stand-in for current Apple CEO Tim Cook. And since this film was released by Disney you’ll definitely see some Marvel and Star Wars references in the background.

The story isn’t entirely original. Films such as the recent The Mitchell’s vs. The Machines also touched upon social media addiction and robots made by a giant tech company. We also saw films like The Emoji Movie and Ralph Breaks the Internet that had social media and the internet as part of the main plot.

The film does have its charm with the character interactions and how certain problems are resolved. I won’t spoil it, but the ending was somewhat bittersweet. 

Overall I give the film a 6.8/10 rating. It is above average what you’d expect from a studio that recently went through major changes, and it does have fun gags. What keeps it from going any higher is again the story isn’t something we haven’t seen or heard before. Still I recommend it if you want to take your kids to the theaters for a wholesome story about friendship “Ron’s Gone Wrong” is a good choice.

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