‘Ron’s Gone Wrong’ Cast Talk About This Fun Film and How Social Media is a ‘Toxic Playground’

Ron’s Gone Wrong is a fun movie about friendship and what that looks as we grow up and our interests change. Witness the crazy adventures between a B*Bot and his human best friend as they discover self-acceptance and courage along the way. To celebrate the release, we chatted with the cast and filmmakers.

Ron’s Gone Wrong is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital and streaming on Disney+ now!

RON’S GONE WRONG
L to R: Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) and Ron (voiced by Zack Galifianakis)

I was interested to find out about how you approached playing a computer, basically, a piece of technology, but bringing it to life and giving it a personality, and also an emotional personality that reacts to the story as he learns with you, which is really interesting and finds this friendship.

ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: I think that was a joint effort to find that voice. Sometimes I would be too emotional, I think, and then I would get feedback from the booth like, “That’s too… we’re hearing a little crack of emotion there”. And I thought, God, I think I’m doing this wrong. I saw the buyer’s remorse in Sarah’s face. No. But I think honestly, it was a little tricky just to find it because you don’t want to do a robot. Obviously, they didn’t want that. They wanted more of my voice. But then how do you walk that line of not too much emotion, but likable or lovable? So I had a lot of help, really, because I needed it. Also, it’s a tone thing too. In an animated film, there’s a lot of it. There’s a lot of imagination that’s required in the beginning because you don’t see a lot of visual stuff quite at the beginning. You’ve been told what’s happening, and that’s a little bit of it. Sometimes it’s a little challenge, but honestly, I had help, and they were very patient with me, which was, you know, when you don’t know what you’re doing like me, it’s helpful.

RON’S GONE WRONG
RON’S GONE WRONG – Ron (voiced by Zack Galifianakis). © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Kylie, there are some really beautiful messages in the film, and important ones as well. And I was interested to hear how you think Savannah, your character, plays into that, particularly around the world of young people and social media and the kind of journey that she has within the film.

KYLIE CANTRALL: Savannah, you know, she’s your classic popular girl in school, and from the outside, I think, she seems like she has it all together. And, social media is a huge part of this film, and she’s taking these cute selfies, and she’s doing these makeup tutorials. But I think underneath it all, she’s just a young girl trying to figure herself out, and I hope that young girls can relate to her and understand the pressures that she goes through and kind of resonate with that part of her.

RON’S GONE WRONG
RON’S GONE WRONG – (Center): Savanah (voiced by Kylie Cantrall). © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Talk about the inspiration behind Ron’s Gone Wrong.

SARAH SMITH: For me, it sounds ridiculous for an animated movie, but actually the idea of it came to me when I saw Her, the Spike Jonze film, and I thought, I’ve got to make a movie like that for my three-year-old who is sitting there immersed in her iPad, believing every single thing that she’s reading or hearing on it, including which is the best fabric softener, etc. And, for me, I don’t know why people make movies for grownups, right? Who do we really care most about in our lives? It’s our children and our families. And I, as a filmmaker, want to make movies that I can watch with my kids. That is proper ‘movie’ movies, with ideas that are sophisticated, something for us to talk about and obviously hilarious. And so the two things going on in my household is my kid going through, as all children do, the issues of friendship, and at the same time us as parents going, how do we help them in this world in which friendship is mediated by technology? So that was my emotional worthy reason for wanting to make the film. And then when I pitched the idea of it to Pete, and he said, well, how about if the device is basically an idiot yet that can’t get upstairs? So Pete brought the comedy idiot in!

RON’S GONE WRONG – (Bottom row, center): Ron (voiced by Zack Galifianakis). © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Jack, what message do you have for kids that struggle to fit in or are going through the same sort of things that Barney is going through?

JACK DYLAN GRAZER: I mean, who am I to give advice? I still don’t fit in. Firstly, I think the reason that I said yes because I wanted to, but I really related to Barney. I had just finished middle school, which was like the worst time of my entire life. Most awkward stage of my entire life. And when I found Barney, I was like, ‘Oh my god, yeah, I could pull that off.’ I did that for three years. I could do that again for five more years. And I had a blast.

ED HELMS: It never ends.

JACK DYLAN GRAZER: I guess, just know who you are at every age, and the biggest thing, the most general way to say it is, just incorporate self-love and know your self-worth. And know your value, know how valuable you are, know how valid and valued you are. I think that’s super crucial. I think Kylie touched on this; there are so many pressures on social media. And the funny thing about it is that I know that I grew up with it. 75-year-old Zach didn’t. So I mean, it’s a big part of my life for business and for everything. So the freaky thing about it is that is advertised as the greatest way of making friends ever. But yet again, it’s the most toxic playground where you’ll get fed the most judgment you’ll ever see in your life. And it’s a toxic place to grow up. I think. So, the greatest thing I think is you should know who you are and stay grounded.

RON’S GONE WRONG
L to R: Barney (voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer) and Ron (voiced by Zack Galifianakis)

What makes the bond between Ron and Barney so special, do you think?

ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: Well, if you’ve ever been desperate for a friend, you know, that sometimes can make an interesting relationship. I think what’s neat is just to see the juxtaposition of all the cool kids with the toys that are supposed to work the way they are and then Barney’s given this more humanlike if you will, a robot with his flaws and glitches and just to watch that kind of natural progression. And they kind of fall in love with each other. I mean, Edith, you saw it. You see how charming Jack is. Yeah. I mean, if he’ll just shave that mustache, things will be fine.

 

Film Synopsis

Things go hilariously awry when Barney, a socially awkward middle-schooler, receives a malfunctioning, digitally connected device that’s supposed to be his “best friend out of the box.” In this action-packed animated story set against the backdrop of the social media age, a boy and his robot discover the wonderful messiness of true friendship.

Bonus Features*

  • A Boy and His B*Bot: When Jack Met Zach – Zach Galifianakis and Jack Dylan Grazer, the voices behind Ron and Barney, sit down to chat about a fun assortment of topics. From social media to skateboarding, the two actors from two very different generations tell us all about when Jack met Zach.
  • Making Ron Right  Join cast and crew behind the scenes as they reveal the skill, dedication and friendship it took to bring this film to life. From writing the script to the voice-over booth, Locksmith’s artisans detail how they made Ron right.
  • “Sunshine” Music Video – Song from the motion picture Ron’s Gone Wrong, performed by Liam Payne.

*bonus features vary by product and retailer

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle. Buy me a coffee

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