‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’: Animating a Social Media Twist on a Boy-and-His-Dog Story

In “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” the first animated feature by UK-based Locksmith Animation (in theaters only from Disney/20th Century Studios), the titular malfunctioning robot (voiced by Zach Galifianakis) and socially awkward middle-schooler Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) struggle to understand the difference between interpersonal and virtual friendship.

Thus, for director Sarah Smith (Aardman’s “Arthur Christmas”) and screenwriter Peter Baynham (the “Borat” movies and “Arthur Christmas”), this high-tech, boy-and-his-dog coming-of-age story was an opportunity to explore the impact of social media on children.“It is very much about the process to curate yourself and put some image of yourself out there,” said Smith, who was inspired by “E.T.” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” among others.

“Like many kids who feel inadequate, they’re the ones that haven’t actually really cracked friendship.

And the joy of Ron is that he is a complete tabula rasa, who’s only

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