Ron’s Gone Wrong

image for Ron’s Gone Wrong

Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 12 (violence, crude humour, themes)

Age
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ron’s Gone Wrong
  • a review of Ron’s Gone Wrong completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 November 2021.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to violence.
Children aged 8–12 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, crude humour and themes.
Children over the age of 12 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Ron’s Gone Wrong
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and crude humour
Length: 107 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Have you ever felt lonely? Awkward? Misunderstood? Well Marc (voice of Justice Smith), creator of the B-bots, certainly has. As a child Marc found it exceedingly difficult to form friendships, so, as an adult he created an algorithm designed to help kids find others with similar interests, and learn to develop friendships through the use of his little robots. An interesting combination between an iPhone, pet and a best friend, the B-bots are eagerly anticipated by people everywhere and they take the world by storm. Soon everyone seems to have B-bots, everyone that is except Barney (voice of Jack Dylan Grazer), a young boy who lives with his father and Russian grandmother (voice of Olivia Coleman) in a small house on the outskirts of town. Without the funds to buy much of anything, Barney makes do with his scooter and tries to be as invisible as possible at school. When Rich (voice of Ricardo Hurtado) begins to bully Barney for not having a B-bot and for the fact that Barney likes geology, his father and grandmother set out to find him one. Unable to even gain access to the store, they discover a man in a loading bay who sells them a damaged B-bot whose program isn’t uploaded, whose system is incomplete, and who doesn’t act the way it is supposed to. They have a troublesome start to their relationship, with B-bot, ‘Ron’ (voice of Zach Galifianakis), embarrassing Barney in front of Savannah (voice of Kylie Cantrall), a popular girl who used to be his friend. When Ron sticks up for Barney and puts Rich and the bullies in their place a true friendship between the pair begins to blossom. When Rich discovers why Ron acts so differently he removes the security settings on his own B-bot and starts a chain reaction that creates havoc throughout the school. Marc is eager to meet Ron and learn how his programming is different from the rest but his manager, Andrew (voice of Rob Delaney), is only concerned with sales ratings, data harvesting and taking the product as far as it will go. Andrew will do anything he can to sabotage Ron, while Barney will do whatever it takes to keep his friend safe. Barney helps Marc discover what was missing from his original algorithm and, together with his father, grandmother and Ron, they set off to stop Andrew and to reverse the damage the B-bots have inadvertently done.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Addiction to technology, social media and social status within a community; Corporate corruption; Death of a parent; Bullying; Peer pressure; Reliance on technology.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Ron decapitates Barney’s stuffed rabbit and completely destroys Barney’s bedroom.
  • While malfunctioning, Ron throws a knife into a wall.
  • A chicken’s neck gets stretched out and it looks like it has been snapped but in the next scene we see that it hasn’t.
  • Ron and Rich shove, kick and slap each other. Ron pulls Rich’s head, stretching it up a slide and they both threaten to destroy each other.
  • Ron is placed in a box and is told that he will be crushed.
  • Ron is nearly crushed in a machine but Barney helps him escape. Later another B-bot is crushed in his place.
  • The bots fight each other.
  • A sign is thrown at an older lady and Savannah is swallowed by a monster composed of numerous B-bots. It ‘poops’ her out and the whole thing is live-streamed on social media. Savannah’s status plummets, numerous followers unfriend or block her, and B-bots repeatedly relay the “it pooped me” scene.
  • Ron and Barney roll down a cliff and fall into Savannah’s pool taking her outdoor lighting system with them. Later Ron falls off a cliff and Barney jumps into the churning water below.
  • Barney falls towards a speeding fan that looks set to kill him. It is turned off at the last moment.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • An army of red, glowing B-bots chase Barney and Ron through the woods, ultimately trapping them within a glowing red net.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Barney and Ron head to the woods to escape from the B-bot Corporation who want to crush Ron. They are hiding out in the darkened woods where Barney is scared of the dark; all the trees appear creepy and menacing. There are scary sounds, then Ron begins to lose power and it looks like he dies.
  • Barney suffers an Asthma attack after being chased by the red B-bots, and Ron, on nearly no battery, half carries, half drags him out of the woods, though Barney begs him not to. Ron dies on the ground as rescuers approach Barney. Barney is devastated.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • No actual products were noted but there is a large focus on technology related to what iPads and smart phones currently do. Characters live stream and have vlogs, there is a focus on being popular and well-liked by followers, and the more you have the better. It is all about how many likes you get and how many friends you have, and initially it is the bots that determine whether or not two people can become friends. Ultimately these dangerous messages are shown to be just that. These are the same issues currently facing numerous children and teens.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Rich and some of his friends make fun of Ron saying that he is naked and that they can see his “parts”. All the other B-bots can change colour and design at will.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Ron’s Grandma says that their family makes do with what they have and that a relative once fixed a hernia with a bread knife and vodka.
  • Reference is made to a character who likes cheap alcohol.
  • Ron brings some random people he met to a buddy bench to befriend Barney. He is carrying something that looks like it could be alcohol.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Sucks.
  • You’re useless.
  • Dumb bot.
  • “Poop girl”
  • There is also some crude humour about being ‘pooped out’, and underwear that is incinerated.

In a nutshell

Ron’s Gone Wrong is an animated adventure about friendship and connection, and the pros and cons of technology. The film features a fast paced plot, excellent voice acting and a powerful message. While not suitable for very young children Ron’s Gone Wrong is a good choice for a family film as it has something for both adults and older kids as well.

The main messages from this movie are that true friendship is a two-way street, that technology is powerful but imperfect and that life is not about the number of likes you get or the number of subscribers you have but rather about the friends you find and the hearts you connect with along the way.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship
  • Compassion
  • Kindness
  • Courage
  • Selflessness
  • Vulnerability
  • Trust.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Spending too much time on-line and the perils of social media.
  • Companies harvesting data and peering into our personal lives.
  • Corporate greed and the loss of consumer rights.
  • One-sided friendships and the hurt and disillusionment they can cause.
  • Trying to be just like everyone else or losing who you are in an effort to fit in.
  • Tying your opinion of yourself to what other people think of you.