What’s that? I’ve inadvertently made my first two films of the year both Olivia Colman movies? Whoops. I promise I will watch movies from outside of Colman’s filmography at some point, but for now… I regret nothing. In all honesty, I had no idea the Queen of England was actually in this movie, but it’s always a nice surprise to see her name in the credits, right? Basically, someone please tell me how Colman manages to elevate everything she’s in, even when you can’t see her face?!
But enough about Britain’s national treasure and onto the film. Ron’s Gone Wrong is an animated film that is technically not Disney, but is certainly owned by Disney… as most things are. It tells the story of young Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Graze of It, Luca and Shazam fame), who isn’t the most well off or popular guy in his class. The latest craze just happens to be a walking talking robot buddy and everyone at school has one… except for Barney. When his Dad (Ed Helms) notices that it’s getting him down, he sources a cheap, damaged version of the B-bot, and the whole family end up getting the exact opposite of what they expected, or so it seems at first, anyway.
At first, I wasn’t massively on board with this whole thing. There have been a lot of TV shows and films recently about the possible dangers of technology and artificial intelligence, so it immediately felt unoriginal. But then the humour kicked in and I was pleasantly surprised! The scriptwriting from a comedy point of view ended up being rather wonderful, and the jokes were intelligent, passing the six laugh test with ease.
Some of the animation – whilst often unpolished – is really quite charming. Again, although Ron’s Gone Wrong is technically a Disney property, it was actually quite nice to see something animated that was less “perfect” visually. There are minor flaws going on for sure, but it’s never bad enough to take away from the story. One of my favourite aspects to it was actually the lighting, which is extraordinarily well done. More movies in general – not just the animated ones – should take note.
What is this movie really about though? Well, Ron’s Gone Wrong is definitely a modern movie with a futuristic aesthetic, but at its core it has some of those old fashioned life lessons embedded within it. Themes of friendship and what it means to be someone’s friend are central to the film and are executed quite well, even if it could have done with being 15 minutes shorter.
With its similar visuals and subject matter, it would be easy to compare this to The Mitchells vs. the Machines. I have to say that Ron’s Gone Wrong isn’t quite on that level (though Olivia Colman knocks it out the park in both!) but it’s a sweet little movie that perhaps shouldn’t have been snubbed by the Golden Globes.
Ron’s Gone Wrong is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.
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Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½