Rob Reviews "Ron's Gone Wrong"
“Ron’s Gone Wrong” is a film that takes a different approach to the way it conveys its message to kids. Sure, it’s a CGI animated film that isn’t the House of Mouse so on a certain level I think a lot of us subconsciously lower the bar on what it will take to entertain, but this film does more than that.
There really isn’t a time that this is set in (it really could be in the present) as tech company Bubble introduces their B-bots; a fully interactive robot that is programmed to know it’s “friend” through their social media and on-line interactions. Barney Pudowski (Jack Dylan Grazer) seems to be the only kid in his middle school that doesn’t have one and being a part of a family that doesn’t make a ton of money he feels that too. His dad, Graham (Ed Helms), just wants his son to be happy and when he “stumbles” upon one, Graham is able to get one for his son for his birthday. Right away, Barney realizes that this particular B-bot has something not quite right with it, but it is those flaws tha not only teach him and those around him about the true meaning of friendship but also raises the ire of the company that created it; specifically the money-motivated Andrew Morris (Rob Delaney).
This film is definitely targeted at the pre-teen audience as there are some themes that the younger set may not quite be able to wrap their brains around just yet. Most of the rest of this voice cast outside of Olivia Coleman as Barney’s kooky grandmother are relative unknowns, which for me was actually a good thing. When an animated feature has an all-star voice cast, I do find myself trying to decipher who is who, and that can take me out of the film from time to time. This script is strong enough to stand on its own without any cheap humor (OK, maybe a little bit…) and really even hit me in the feels a bit. With a strong message about really doing our best to “unplug” and experience real human contact without tech in the way, “Ron’s Gone Wrong” could be one of the most underrated films of 2021. Even the staunchest of those that accuse just about everyone of having an agenda when it comes to entertainment should be able to find something that will make them smile with this hour-and-fifty-minute run time. There truly is something for everyone here!