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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Ron's Gone Wrong ★★★

Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine

Starring Jack Dylan Grazer, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Olivia Colman, Rob Delaney

Animated studios battle it out more than ever with underdog companies like Sony Animation and Laika releasing films to take on the Disney and Dreamworks giants. Now 20th Century Fox (Rio, Ice Age) join forces with upcoming producers Locksmith Animation for Ron’s Gone Wrong, a heartwarming tale full of important messages about media consumption and acceptance; themes relevant today, if not a little too familiar.

Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer) is the only child at school to not have a robot buddy, making him the butt of the joke at school and a lonely soul at home, and when he finally joins the trend, his buddy Ron, is a little different from the rest.

Ron himself is the best part of this film, as you’d expect him to be, voiced innocently by Zach Galifianakis creating many genuine laugh out loud moments. The vocal chemistry between Galifianakis and Grazer is always joyous and there’s similarities in friendship and plot to the Spielberg classic E.T.

Strong messages of consumer privacy, unacceptable screen times and bullying (both cyber and in-person) are present throughout, and although they’re told with no punches pulled, it does all feel familiar and unoriginal. We’ve seen similar morals and concepts before in the likes of The Mitchells vs The Machines and Big Hero 6, the latter of which even feels similar in character design. And because of this the impact isn’t felt quite as much as it possibly would be had we seen this animation first.

Simple friendship building moments between Ron and Barney are really touching, but the concept of the future in social construct has been explored a lot in the animated medium, and that unfortunately works against this charming new picture.

Ron's Gone Wrong available in cinemas now

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