Ron's Gone Wrong (2021)


Ron's Gone Wrong (2021)

Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation's "Ron's Gone Wrong" is the story of Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device, which is supposed to be his 'Best Friend out of the Box.' Ron's hilarious malfunctions set against the backdrop of the social media age, launch them into an action-packed journey in which boy and robot come to terms with the wonderful messiness of true friendship.
IMDb   N/A
Metacritic   65 %
TheMovieDb    7.4 /10
FilmAffinity   6.5 /10
Director Sarah Smith
Director Jean-Philippe Vine
Director Octavio E. Rodriguez
Writer Peter Baynham
Writer Sarah Smith
Release Date2021-10-20
GenreAnimation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci-Fi
Content Rating
CompanyLocksmith Animation, 20th Century Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Animation
CountryUSA, UK

Ron's Gone Wrong

Ron's Gone Wrong is a 2021 computer-animated science fiction comedy film directed by Jean-Philippe Vine and Sarah Smith, co-directed by Octavio E. Rodriguez, and written by Peter Baynham and Smith. The film stars an ensemble cast which includes Zach Galifianakis, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ed Helms, Justice Smith, Rob Delaney, Kylie Cantrall, Ricardo Hurtado, and Olivia Colman. It is the first film from Locksmith Animation and was distributed by 20th Century Studios, serving as the company's first animated film to release since the closure of Blue Sky Studios on April 10, 2021.

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 and in the United States on October 22, 2021. The film has grossed $20 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics.


In the future, tech giant Bubble unveils their latest creation: the B-bot, created by the benevolent CEO Marc Weidell, with the intent to make a robotic buddy that is designed to help make friends and connect to the internet. In the town of Nonsuch, Barney Pudowski is the only middle schooler who does not own a B-bot. His former childhood friends, Savannah Meades, Rich Belcher, Noah and Ava have all become absorbed by their individual B-bots. Barney's father Graham, who sells novelties online, and his grandmother Donka come to realize that he does not have any friends and empathize when Rich plays a cruel prank on Barney. They hastily go to a Bubble store, but it is closed. Fortunately, a delivery driver had been holding onto a slightly damaged B-bot that had fallen out of his truck and sells it to them.

Barney gets the B-bot as a late birthday present, but upon activating it, quickly learns that it is defective and glitchy. Not wanting to upset his father, he decides to take it back to the Bubble store to get fixed. He ends up running into Rich and his friends who taunt and try to humiliate him. The B-bot begins to fight back, as his safety functions have been turned off, and he and Barney laugh together and run. 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.

Barney and Ron's actions are reported. While Marc is happy to see Ron go against his programming, his COO Andrew Morris views it as bad publicity. They believe Ron has been destroyed and that the issue has been 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 strangers 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 and parental controls turned off. The B-bots run wild and, in the end, Savannah is publicly humiliated.

Andrew warns Marc about the ramifications of the B-bot and sends their entire team of employees to find and get rid of Ron. Marc sneaks away so that he can meet Ron. Barney is suspended 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. Barney and Ron are initially elated in the woods, but wind up getting lost and spending a scary, uncomfortable night there. At school, the B-bots have been put under heavy lock and Savannah confides in Rich that they were indirectly responsible for Barney's situation.

Bubble uses their resources to take control of all the B-bots to go looking for Ron and Barney. They manage to hide from them, but due to the cold weather and Barney's asthma, he becomes weak. Ron brings Barney 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 is impressed with Ron. Marc fixes Ron's glitches and thereby makes him a different B-bot. Barney demands that Marc access the cloud to get Ron's original personality, but Andrew took over the company and locked Marc out. Barney, Graham, Donka, and Marc break into Bubble HQ to rescue Ron.

Through an elaborate plan, Barney manages to make it to the Bubble database and finds Ron's original data and uploads him back into his body. 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 into the internet. Barney reluctantly says goodbye to Ron as his programming is spread to everyone. 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 the "Barney Bench" at recess, a giant Bubble tower that overlooks Nonsuch produces Ron's face, implying that he is still alive.

Voice cast

  • Jack Dylan Grazer as Barney Pudowski, a socially awkward and lonesome middle-schooler with whom Savannah shares a friendship.
  • Zach Galifianakis as Ron, Barney's malfunctioning B-bot.
  • Ed Helms as Graham, Barney's father.
  • Olivia Colman as Donka, Barney's paternal grandmother.
  • Rob Delaney as Andrew, the COO of the Bubble company.
  • Justice Smith as Marc, the creator of the B-bot and 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 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.
  • Liam Payne as a B-Bot who got kicked by Andrew.
  • Ruby Wax as Ms Hartley, Barney's teacher who tries to help him make friends.


In September 2017, Locksmith formed a multi-year production deal with 20th Century Fox, which would distribute Locksmith's films under the 20th Century Fox Animation label, with Locksmith aiming to release a film every 12–18 months. On October 12, 2017, it was announced that the first film from Locksmith Animation would be Ron's Gone Wrong. Alessandro Carloni and Jean-Phillipe Vine would serve as the film's co-directors, while Peter Baynham and Locksmith co-founder Sarah Smith would write the screenplay. DNEG was on board as a digital production partner. Baynham and Elisabeth Murdoch were named executive producers on the same day.

Animation and voice acting have been done remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Henry Jackman composed the film's score.

On August 19, 2021, it was announced that Liam Payne had made an original song, titled "Sunshine" for the film. The song was officially released on August 27, 2021.

The film's soundtrack will be available on Walt Disney Records, making this the first 20th Century Studios film to have its soundtrack released through the label.


Baynham added that DNEG provided great timing to Ron’s animated performance with such a simple face. “And there were debates throughout this: ‘how do you make that not cutesy but not boring?,'” he said. “And he doesn’t have a face that you can do all the classic things with, but somehow he does…like the way his eye might slip a little bit…that speaks to his simple clownishness. He’s a very simple character, but also he’s incredibly sophisticated.” But for Smith, the challenge was: “How do we, as parents, as children, as kids growing up in a world in which this is all they’ve ever known, how do we learn to live with the tech?”

Bill Desowitz

In April 2021, the film is became a traditional logo as glitched by the 20th Century Studios and Disney as revealing the logo. The first trailer was released in June 8, 2021, receiving positive reception getting 26,000 likes on YouTube. Then, the second trailer is released in September 9, 2021. Like the first trailer, it also received generally mixed to positive reception by 33,000 likes on YouTube.

TOMY made a deal with Disney and Locksmith to develop toys based on the film, including plushies and action figures.


In October 2017, the film was scheduled for release on November 6, 2020. In November 2019, the film was moved to February 26, 2021. In May 2020, the film was moved to April 23, 2021, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 22, 2021, the film was then delayed further to October 22, 2021. The film also had its world premiere at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival on October 9, 2021. That same day the film played during the 36th Guadalajara International Film Festival. The film also held a special surprise screening at the El Capitan Theatre on its day of release, October 22. The film will play exclusively in theaters for 45 days before heading to digital platforms.

It is the only Locksmith film distributed by 20th Century Studios as distribution of future Locksmith Animation films will be handled by Warner Bros. Pictures, following a multi-year production deal with the studio in 2019.


Box office

As of October 29, 2021, Ron's Gone Wrong has grossed $9.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $10.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $20 million.

In the United States and Canada, Ron's Gone Wrong was released alongside Dune, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 3,065 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $2.3 million on its first day, including $260,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut in fifth place with $7.3 million.

In the United Kingdom the film grossed £868,053 on the opening weekend of October 15–17. The next weekend it grossed £562,540.

Critical response

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 79% based on 86 reviews, with an average rating of 6.50/10. The critical consensus reads: "It isn't the first animated film to confront technology creep, but in terms of striking an entertaining balance between humor and heart, Ron's Gone Wrong gets it right." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.