Fox has announced a new film due in 2020 titled Ron’s Gone Wrong. The movie is the first from new British studio Locksmith, a “high-end CG feature animation studio” which the distributor is hoping will become a rival to Pixar.
Screen Rant recently attended a Fox licensing presentation in London where Chief Business Officer Beth Goss made clear the company’s goal was to grow in the animation space. This involved films like Spies in Disguise, Nimona, but also Locksmith’s debut, Ron’s Gone Wrong. The film, which is set to be released in November 2020, will be directed by Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3) and J.P. Vine (story on Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur). The film’s production cast boasts alums for major animation studios Pixar, Dreamworks, Illumination, Aardman and more.
Ron’s Gone Wrong takes place in a near future where, instead of mobile phones, the new gadget of choice is a B-Bot, a round-cuboid shape robot that fulfills its user’s every need, from social media to GPS to A.I. experiences. The story follows Barney, a child from a family too poor to afford one who gets a damaged model with only 5% functionality. Nicknaming Ron, who he slowly forms a bond with – summing up the movie’s central theme of communication in the modern age.
The test footage we saw in London focused heavily on the concept of the B-bots, showcasing how they moved (limbs come out of the main body in a manner similar to Eve in WALL-E) and their numerous functions. There were also various skins, including Brian Griffin from Family Guy, Deadpool, cars, bunny rabbits and a NASA rocket, as well as Facebook reactions aplenty (although these weren’t finalized). Further concept art detailed the near-future backdrop to the film and teased a far-reaching adventure. This was all in the early stages, but it’s definitely promising design work and the story we were told has signs of real heart.
This is a big move from Fox’s animation wings. Much of their output has been defined by the overtly child-focused outings from Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age), but Locksmith bringing a plot you’d more likely expect from Pixar draws a line in the sand. Whether the new studio – which was founded in 2014 by award-winning animators Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart – is up for the task is another matter, but they’ve got a long time to work on it.