Animation is a form of filmmaking that has come on leaps and bounds over the decades, becoming a never-ending playing field for filmmakers to come along and offer audiences both exciting visuals and films with an emotional core that will bring even the hardest of souls to tears. Ron's Gone Wrong, the debut film from UK based animation studio Locksmith Animation, attempts to play with the big boys but does it make as much of a mark as it would have liked? 

The story of Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer), an awkward middle-schooler and Ron (Zach Galifianakis), his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device. Ron's malfunctions set against the backdrop of the social media age launch them on a journey to learn about true friendship.
Ron's Gone Wrong is an enjoyable family film, there's absolutely no denying that. It's got a massive amount of heart with a narrative revolving around a lonely boy left out when everyone else his age possesses a B-bot, a best friend robot driven by AI, and there's plenty of humour scattered throughout, mainly coming from Ron, who very much feels like a shorter and stumpier version of Baymax from Big Hero 6. This is enough for it to work as a functional film however, it never feels as if the film is willing to scratch beneath the surface to make more of an impression in such a densely populated market. 

The animation itself is gorgeous to look at, the surrounding environments popping off the screen as Barney and Ron set out their journey as best friends. Henry Jackman's score injects more life into proceedings but there's only so much it can do with such a basic narrative. 

Zach Galifianakis is instantly recognisable as Ron, catching me out with his brilliant line delivery on occasions. Jack Dylan Grazer continued his 2021 animation work following Luca with a decent performance as Barney while Olivia Colman shines as Donka, his maternal grandmother. Honestly, I had no idea she was even in this. 

Featuring a character so very close to another from a recent animated film and covering similar themes to the superior The Mitchells vs The Machines doesn't help Ron's Gone Wrong stand out. As previously mentioned, it's a film that will provide entertainment, particularly for kids, but if you're looking for more out of an animated film, you won't find it here. 

Verdict: ½


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