Ron’s Gone Wrong is ready to introduce you to your new best-friend-out-of-the-box.

The new animated feature from 20th Century Studios tells the story of Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler, and Ron, his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device. Ron’s hilarious malfunctions launch the pair into an action-packed journey, in which boy and robot come to terms with the wonderful messiness of true friendship.

But even though this story focuses on a boy and his robot bff, it’s not set in some far-off imagined future.

“We thought, no. Let’s have this movie [set] now, because that’s what kids and adults and everyone is going through now,” said writer Peter Baynham.

Though Ron and the other B-bots have some impressive abilities, the movie’s technology isn’t all that different from the technology we use every day. Kids use their B-bots to play games, post to social media, and meet new friends. 

“The idea was just trying to find a way to ground it with the technology and the social networks as a discussion, but finding a connection for us as well,” said co-director Octavio Rodriguez. “So it was important to us to keep it simple in one way, but also have the technology that’s in front of us. You want to make it so that everybody can read into it and connect to it.”

RON’S GONE WRONG - (L-R): Ron (voiced by Zack Galifianakis) and Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer). © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Added director Sarah Smith, “As a filmmaker, I want to make movies that I can watch with my kids. That are proper ‘movie’ movies, with ideas that are sophisticated and have something for us to talk about. Ron’s Gone Wrong is [asking] How do we help our kids in this world in which friendship is mediated by technology? That was my emotional reason for wanting to make the film.”

Ron’s Gone Wrong is a movie that gets technology right. Rather than take the approach that technology is ruining kids’ lives and their ability to make friends, the movie instead offers a more realistic and nuanced picture. B-bots and technology aren’t inherently evil. Kids can make friends and foster deep connections online, despite the sometimes toxic environments found there. And frankly, it would be hypocritical to try to say otherwise.

“I think we write as parents, and our kids keep us honest,” said Smith. “If you’re lecturing through their film, you know that your kids are going to go, “What about you? You’re on your phone all the time, get off your phone!” You have to be truthful to their experience and your experience. You can’t lecture.”

And when it comes down to it, you always make more of an impression keeping things entertaining anyways.

“We lead with comedy. You can have all the themes and all the messages in the world, but if it’s not on some level entertaining or moving or whatever, then people aren’t going to buy into it,” said Baynham.

You can experience all the hilarious hijinks of Ron and Barney soon. Ron’s Gone Wrong arrives in theaters October 22. 
You can find our full review for the film here.