Ron's Gone Wrong is a 2021 computer-animated science fiction comedy film directed by Sarah Smith and Jean-Philippe Vine, co-directed by Octavio E. Rodriguez, produced by Julie Lockhart and Lara Breay, and written by Peter Baynham and Smith. The film features the voice of Jack Dylan Grazer as Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler who befriends a defective robot he names Ron, voiced by Zach Galifianakis. Barney must find a way to protect Ron, who comes under danger from corporate employees. Additional voices include Ed Helms, Justice Smith, Rob Delaney, Kylie Cantrall, Ricardo Hurtado and Olivia Colman. Ron's Gone Wrong is the first feature film from Locksmith Animation, as well as the first fully animated feature film produced by TSG Entertainment. Animation and voice acting for the film were all done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ron's Gone Wrong had its world premiere at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival on October 9, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2021, and in the United States on October 22, 2021, in a limited 3D release at the AMC and Regency theaters and originally in RealD 3D. The film was originally going to be distributed by Paramount Pictures under the Paramount Animation label, but was instead distributed by 20th Century Studios under the 20th Century Animation label. Ron's Gone Wrong serves as 20th Century Animation's first animated feature film to release theatrically since the closure of Blue Sky Studios on April 10, 2021, as well as the first animated feature film to be theatrically released under the 20th Century Studios name. The film grossed $60.4 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics.
Tech giant Bubble unveils their latest creation: the B-bot, created by Bubble's CEO Marc Wydell with the intent to make a robot buddy that is designed to help make friends, via algorithm. In the town of Nonsuch, California, middle-schooler Barney Pudowski is the only kid in his class who doesn't have a B-bot. His former childhood friends, Savannah Meades, Rich Belcher, Noah and Ava have all become absorbed by their individual B-bots. On Barney's 11th birthday, his father, Graham, and his grandmother, Donka, come to realize that he doesn't have any friends. They hastily go to a Bubble store, but closes for the day, leading them to buy a slightly-damaged one from the store's delivery driver.
Barney receives the B-bot as his late-birthday gift, but upon activating it, he quickly learns that it's defective and glitchy. Not wanting to upset his father, Barney decides to take it back to the Bubble store to get it fixed, but ends up running into Rich and his friends who taunt and try to humiliate Barney. The B-bot begins to fight back as his safety functions have been disabled, with him and Barney happily running off. However, Rich called the police and they along with Graham and Donka are taken to the Bubble store so that the B-bot can be crushed. Not wanting to see him go, Barney secretly rescues him and names him Ron, a shortened version of his model number.
When Barney and Ron's actions are reported, Marc is happy to see Ron go against his programming while his COO Andrew Morris views it as bad publicity, believing Ron must be destroyed for the issue to be resolved. Barney teaches Ron how to be a good friend and, while hanging out, runs into Savannah who tells Ron that he needs to help Barney get friends. Despite Barney telling Savannah not to, she posts Ron's actions online, alerting Bubble. The next day, Ron gets out of the house and tries to get "friends" for Barney, bringing a series of random people to school. As Barney gets in trouble, Rich discovers Ron's unlocked function and downloads it, causing all the other B-bots to have their safety features turned off. The B-bots run wild and, in the end, after the B-Bots have a patch update, Savannah is publicly humiliated.
Barney is kicked out from school and tells Ron off, but upon returning home, realizes that Ron was truly being a friend and decides to run away with him when Bubble employees come for him. They briefly run into Savannah, still upset over her incident, and tells her that he is hiding in the woods. Meanwhile, while Andrew warns Marc about the ramifications of the B-bot, Marc sneaks away so that he can meet Ron while Bubble uses their resources to take control of all the B-bots to go looking for Ron and Barney in the woods. Due to the cold weather and Barney's asthma, he becomes weak and Ron brings him back to civilization just outside the school where Savannah, Rich, Noah and Ava rush out to help him.
Barney is taken to the hospital and recuperates before meeting Marc who patched Ron, making him like every other B-Bot. Barney demands that Marc access the cloud to get Ron's original personality, but Andrew took over the Bubble company and locked Marc out. Through an elaborate plan for Barney, Graham, Donka and Marc breaking into Bubble HQ, Barney manages to make it to the Bubble database, finds Ron's original data by his light and uploads him back into his body, restoring him back to his original code. Seeing that Bubble has direct access to everyone's B-bot and realizing that everyone is just as lonely as he was, Barney suggests upgrading all the B-bots to have Ron's flaws. However, this means that Ron will be dispersed. Barney reluctantly says goodbye to Ron as his programming is spread to everyone, mixing Marc's friendship algorithm with Ron's code. Marc blackmails Andrew into giving his position of CEO back after secretly recording him admitting that the B-bots spy on their owners for profit.
Three months later, everyone has a faulty B-bot, but are happy with their wild and weird personalities. Barney no longer has one, but has become much more sociable and has gotten close with his former friends. As they hang out at recess, a giant Bubble tower that overlooks Nonsuch produces Ron's face.
- Jack Dylan Grazer as Barney Pudowski, a socially awkward and lonesome twelve-year-old middle-schooler whom Savannah shares a friendship with.
- Zach Galifianakis as RONB1NT5CAT5CO / "Ron", Barney's malfunctioning B-bot.
- Ed Helms as Graham Pudowski, Barney's father and Donka's son.
- Olivia Colman as Donka Pudowski, Barney's grandmother and Graham's mother who was born in Bulgaria.
- Rob Delaney as Andrew Morris, the COO of the Bubble company.
- Justice Smith as Marc Wydell, the creator of the B-bot and the CEO of the Bubble company.
- Kylie Cantrall as Savannah Meades, Barney's classmate who is an aspiring vlogger.
- Ricardo Hurtado as Rich Belcher, Barney's classmate who continually pranks people in hopes of becoming famous.
- Cullen James McCarthy as Noah, Barney's classmate who loves video games.
- Ava Morse as Ava, Barney's classmate who loves science.
- Marcus Scribner as Alex, one of Rich's cronies.
- Thomas Barbusca as Jayden, one of Rich's cronies.
- Ruby Wax as Ms. Hartley, Barney's middle school principal.
- Sarah Miller as Bree, a Bubble store manager.
- Krupa Pattani as Sita, a colleague of Andrew Morris.
- Megan Maczko as Miss Thomas, Barney's middle school teacher.
- Liam Payne as a B-bot who gets kicked by Andrew (cameo appearance).
Additionally, John Macmillan voices Shayne the Biker, David Menkin voices Mr. Cleaver, and Iara Nemirovsky voices Ellie.
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- "Exclusive: Locksmith & 20th Century Debut 'Ron's Gone Wrong' Imagery", Animation Magazine (January 26, 2021).
- "Warner Signs Multi-Picture Deal With Elisabeth Murdoch's Locksmith Animation" (in en), Variety (October 31, 2019).
- Nick Romano. "Zach Galifianakis is the best malfunctioning robot pal in first Ron's Gone Wrong trailer".