6.5/10 At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I was not excited to make the trek to watch this in theaters along with all the annoying, noisy children that also show up to these movies. The trailer didn’t inspire any confidence and 20th Century Animation doesn’t exactly have a Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks level of reputation. So despite my skepticism, I was pleasantly surprised when “Ron’s Gone Wrong” turned out to be much better than I thought it would. While it has still flopped at the box office, I do believe that word of mouth will overall be positive and when this hits streaming, kids will fall in love with it. Before I get to why this was much better than it had the right to be, I will get the negative aspects out of the way first. For starters, this is following the Netflix original film that also has voice work from Olivia Colman, “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” (review coming soon), which was better than this and had a little more heart to it. Due to the similar subject matter, the comparisons cannot be avoided and Netflix comes out on top in this duel. Another issue is that compared to Pixar, the animation is solid but falls short of the immersive detail that a Pixar film provides. At the end of the day, this is also a bit forgettable and runs about 10 to 15 minutes too long. Despite enjoying it while watching it, in a sea of crowded animated films, this won’t stay in your mind for long. Those problems aside, there is much to admire about this animated experience. Something Pixar films have always nailed that this one does too is the voice casting. Jack Dylan Grazer is perfect as our protagonist Barney and Zach Galifianakis was custom made for this role. The supporting cast is excellent too and the score from Henry Jackman captures the big tech adrenaline rush while balancing the more emotional scenes as well. Even though there is a little drag in the middle, the first and final acts are fun and engrossing. The best part of “Ron’s Gone Wrong” is easily the messaging. In the first act I was worried that the film might show off how cool social media and technology are, something that has had a drastically negative impact on young people in society today. The last message children need while watching an animated film is how cool the latest app/phone/robot/etc. is. Luckily, by the end of the film we get the real message which shows that living your life offline is a good, natural and healthy habit to make. We see the social damage that a negative viral video causes a girl who was obsessed with her online life and showing that darker side of social media is important. We see the greed from big tech figures who steal your data and only care about the bottom line, no matter what negative ramifications happen to their consumer (sound familiar, folks?). The film talks about true friendship and that having a small, close friend circle in real life is far superior to having millions of followers, none of whom you actually know or are your real friend. In the end, despite its problems, “Ron’s Gone Wrong” is actually a film I would recommend to parents to take their kids to and use as a jumping off point to talk to your kids about the dangers of social media and too much screen time. The pitch perfect casting, strong score and wonderful messaging show that just maybe…Ron’s Gone Right.

#RonBabyRon / #FryRobot / #BeautifulToy / #AWrinkleInPlaytime / #TagYourFriends / #BroadbandChurch

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