Ron’s Gone Wrong (2021) is an animated comedy movie about a young boy getting a faulty bot as his friend. It presents a mirror to our current society on the obsession kids are having with their online presence on Instagram or Snapchat and its harmful influence on their overall development. As a movie, the screenplay could’ve been a lot more engaging and fresh. The film by 20th-century studios is available on Disney+Hotstar in India and gets my ‘Raw’ rating.
Barney Pudowsk is a young boy (about 10-years-old) living with his single father and grandmother. He is an introvert and has no friends. The other kids in his middle school have got themselves a B-bot (personalized friendly companions) each, they spend all their time posting content online and making new friends in the digital world, and missing the joys of the real world. Ostracized by his fellow students, Barney feels extremely sad. Unable to afford the official B-Bot for his boy, his father buys one off-the-streets and it turns out to be a faulty/incomplete one named Ron. Ron is quirky and doesn’t do anything the official B-Bots do, but that presents an opportunity to Barney to mould it with his personality. Bubble, the makers of B-bot don’t approve of this and try to annihilate Ron, did they succeed or Barney gets to keep his best friend is the story.
B-bots are cute little robots designed by a young genius named Marc Weidell – it is not coincidental that the character reminds you of a young Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. The film shows B-bots as the embodiment of everything we now see wrong with big-tech and social media, how these companies driven by profits spy on our kids lives, get them addicted, destroy their self-esteem and so on. While these are genuine issues, for an animation movie, it went overboard and became tiring. The climax, the race with time inside the cloud data centre reminded me of Free Guy (2021).
Overall, a movie that can be enjoyed if you have kids, for adults it can show the harm of exposing kids to social media at a young age.