Linda Cook review: ‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ is a fun animated story about a mischievous robot

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There’s a little bit of “Child’s Play” and a smidgen of “her” in “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” a movie with a theme similar to the other two but directed at kids.

It’s a creation of new animation studio Locksmith, a British company that began in 2014. The look of this CGI movie isn’t quite like any other, so it’s really fun to see. It takes a jab at our “friendships” with high tech and anything robotic.

The movie begins with the Bubble headquarters and the unveiling of “B*bots,” mobile pals for children who can share everything with their friends on the B*bot platform.  

Barney (voice of Jack Dylan Grazer) is the only kid in school who doesn’t have a B*bot. That’s just one more annoyance for Barney, who is used to being shunned and bullied.

He finds refuge in his loving home with his single dad (Ed Helms) and Bulgarian grandmother (Olivia Colman.) Barney’s dad (Ed Helms) sells trinkets that don’t provide a big budget for the household, so a B*bot is out of the question.

Then Barney’s dad discovers Ron (Zach Galifianakis,) a B*bot that fell off a truck. Ron, who looks a little like a more bubble-ish BB-8 isn’t … well, programmed right, as the title implies. In fact, he’s more or less broken – not exactly the perfect birthday present for Barney, who wants to take him back to the factory.

At first. Because Barney soon discovers that while Ron isn’t programmed correctly, that also means he has few boundaries, which comes in handy when Barney’s bullies confront him.

But that also means Ron is ripe for getting into, and creating, trouble at every turn.

I really enjoyed this movie. While it may not be an Oscar contender, the look of its colorful characters and environments is charming.

Grownups will get a kick out of the fun the film pokes at high tech, and kids will enjoy the way Ron gets the better of practically everyone.

It’s the kind of fun family fare kids and grownups alike deserve.

3 stars

Rated: PG for coarse humor, mild violence.

Running time: One hour and 47 minutes.

In theaters.

Watch the trailer here.

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