Directors: Jean-Phillipe Vine and Sarah Smith
Writers: Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith
Starring: Zack Galifianakis, John Dylan Grazer. Olivia Coleman, Ed Helms, Justice Smith, Rob Delaney, Kylie Cantrall, Ricardo Hurtado, Marcus Scribner, and Thomas Barbusca
The first film from Locksmith Animation, an England based animation company, Ron’s Gone Wrong had its world premiere at London Film Festival 2021. The company was set up to be an English animation studio with the same high-end production values as companies from America such as Disney and Illumination. Ironically, the film is now being distributed by Disney after Locksmith Animation partnered with Fox before the takeover.
Ron’s Gone Wrong tells the story of Barney (John Dylan Grazer), the only kid in his school to not have a B-bot, a robot buddy that follows you around with apps and a friend list, almost the next step in smart phone evolution. Barney has no friends and feels completely left out at school, dreading every recess. He doesn’t even hand out the invitations to his birthday party. After seeing how alone Barney is, his father buys him a B-bot for his birthday, a cheaper broken one named Ron (Zack Galifianakis). Ron and Barney learn about each other while they form a bond closer than most people have with their B-bots.
The animation in this film is simply gorgeous. Locksmith Animation have truly achieved their aim of living up to the high animated productions of the bigger studios around the world. It would be easy to believe that this is the latest Disney film. The animation is sleek, the character design is unique and charming, and the backgrounds look incredible. It’s a beautiful film to look at.
Ron’s Gone Wrong has so many amazing laugh out loud moments that will have audiences of all ages in hysterics. This isn’t something that has two levels of humour, like Shrek, instead it’s full family entertainment where people of any ages can enjoy. Beyond the comedy is also a lot of heart. Ron is a lovable character and is destined to become a new household favourite. He’s quirky, funny and is a cute design. Ron isn’t connected to the Bubble Network, which means he hasn’t received all the updates to be Barney’s best friend right out of the box. Instead, he has to learn everything about Barney, a task he takes too literally.
The music is upbeat and catchy, perfectly capturing the comedy and positive message in the film. The soundtrack is rounded out with a new ear-worm of a song from Liam Payne, called ‘Sunshine’. It’s feel-good music for a new animated classic.
There are moments towards the end where the film starts to feel a little lost. Moments where you think the end is coming and then more stuff happens. It’s always entertaining, but does feel a little too long as it reaches the final moments. The film also feels like it’s trying to act as a warning for the addiction to social media, but never deals with this in a meaningful way. That doesn’t matter when the film is so entertaining.
Ron’s Gone Wrong is an almost perfect family film. It features great memorable characters, funny moments and is genuine fun for the whole family. This is the best family animated film of 2021 and Locksmith Animation has a great future ahead.
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