Ron's Gone Wrong Writers Reveal E.T. Inspirations

Ron's Gone Wrong is the new animated feature from 20th Century Studios and Locksmith Animation (by way of Disney) that's now playing in theaters. The movie is currently up on Rotten Tomatoes with a 79% critics score after 62 reviews and a 97% audience score after a small handful of reactions. The movie tells the story of a world where android friends have replaced phones as the go-to device and when a socially awkward middle school student named Barney finally gets his own device, Ron, the robot doesn't turn out to be the helpful best friend that Barney is expecting. In honor of the movie's release, talked with some of the stars as well as the movie's writers, Sarah Smith and Peter Baynham, who revealed they were inspired by E.T. 

"Yeah. E.T. was definitely an influence," Smith shared. "I think there are certain big stories that types of stories that really appeal to kids. The idea that you're magic, the idea that you are somehow special, the idea of having a special pet, How to Train Your Dragon is that. And in a way, Ron's Gone Wrong is that. E.T. is that as well. It's one of those powerful fantasies that kids have. And so there is an echo of E.T. and the sense of them kind of escaping into this big sort of wild setting where they have fun together. It's definitely important. And I watched E.T. right near the end of the movie, and I counted the number of seconds. There was like a shot on Elliot's face as he's saying goodbye, and I was like, 'We need to go back into our movie and make longer shots of Barney because, you know.'"

Baynham added, "I believe it was just, well, like we grew up on E.T. and also in the look of the world, even. Because early on we felt very strongly that we wanted it not to be in the future, not some theoretical world in which these things come along, and so that meant we wanted to limit the B-bot and make sure they're not too fanciful or imaginary, but also just the look of where Barney lived because that kind of whole... I live in the States, but I'm a sucker for that American suburban look that I just think it just looks idyllic."

Ron's Gone Wrong features an all-star voice cast that includes Zach Galifianakis (A Wrinkle in TimeThe Hangover), Jack Dylan Grazer (Shazam!Luca), Olivia Colman (The Crown), Ed Helms (The Office), Justice Smith (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Rob Delaney (Deadpool 2), Kylie Cantrall (Gabby Duran and the Unsittables), Ricardo Hurtado (The Goldbergs), Marcus Scribner (Black-ish), and Thomas Barbusca (Chad).

Ron's Gone Wrong is now playing in theaters.