Ron’s Gone Wrong is an animated film about a young boy who doesn’t have any friends at school but is not bullied as such, he’s just not got anyone to play and hang out with. Not that the children “play” anymore as everything is about electronics.
Barney, our lonely lad, lives at home with his father who is trying to make ends meet selling tacky gadgets online and his very crazy grandma who can often be seen with a butcher knife but seems to love her son and grandson very much.
There is only a small mention of Barney’s mother, who I’m assuming has passed. So, there we have the typical, one parent (and grandma) family of a lonely kid!
His grandma and father only really notice how alone Barney is when no one comes to his birthday party, this is due to Barney not giving out the invites – “if I don’t invite them, they can’t say no” and goes off to bed with his rock hammers that his father bought him.
Events that evening give his father and grandma the wake-up call they needed to see that their son/grandson has no friends and all he wants is the B-Bot, a robot buddy, that every single child in school has. What that does is highlight to us all how attached to our phones we are.
The B-Bots are put on a shelf until break time, and everyone just grabs their buddy who follows them around telling them who to like, what to like, based on algorithms of what they’ve liked and watched then matches them with friends. Not dissimilar to social media, only much more visual.
Wanting to be a good parent, his dad zooms off to the shop to buy him a B-Bot for his birthday, but the shop is closing, and the wait is 3 months, “fortunately” for his dad there is a broken B-Bot being sold down the alley and yes, his dad buys that one!
The story of Barney and his damaged B-Bot has, for me, similarities to Baymax and Hiro – Disney’s 2014 animated movie. Although Baymax was not damaged, he was learning how humans work and driving Hiro crazy in the process, the same relationship to Barney and “Ron”.
Without giving the entire plot away, it’s a bittersweet ending for Ron, that actually left my 10-year-old quite sad.
What left me sad was how an animated film highlighted how quickly the technical world is consuming us all and our children!
Ron’s Gone Wrong is a good watch, albeit a long 2 hour one, it doesn’t dip or drag so does keep the family’s attention with a predictable ending (for us adults) and maybe not a film that we would watch on repeat.
Middle of the road, film.
Animation, Comedy, Family | USA, 2021 | PG | Disney+, BD, DVD | 20th Century Studios | Dirs. Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine | Zach Galifianakis, Olivia Colman, Ed Helms, Jack Dylan Grazer, Justice Smith