Written by Luke Barnes
In a dystopia where children need a personal robot to be their friend and post everything they do online one boy, voiced by Jack Dylan Grazer, complains to his family about not having one and then is unhappy when he gets a discounted one. An unhealthy friendship ensues.
Don’t take your kids to see this. Don’t waste your money. There are so, so many better animated films out there that actually have a positive message and enrich those who view them, this only serves to cause harm. This is one of the worst animated films I have seen in a long time.
Firstly, the main boy inspires no sympathy because whilst yes he is a social outcast once he gets a friend in his damaged robot Ron, voiced by Zach Galifianakis, he immediately puts him down and treats him like dirt. Insisting that he gets to pick his friends and because Ron is not perfect out of the box he doesn’t want to know him, what sort of message is this sending to kids? Yes, as the film goes on her learns the error of his ways, but by that point he is already a loathsome lead.
Secondly, this film seems to view the younger generation as being unable to function without constantly being online, which I don’t believe is true. Rather it is more likely to be a cynical Gen X or older view of ‘these young people today always on their phones’, which honestly was never more than a gross generalisation. The world that this film is set in is honestly a hellscape, with big tech companies being basically all powerful, and viewed in this context the whole film becomes incredibly depressing, was that the point?
Thirdly, and in my opinion the most grievous of all, this film treats online issues as throwaway lines and worse yet jokes. Within the film one of the characters Savannah, voiced by Kylie Cantrall, becomes the victim of online bullying as she is labelled ‘poop girl’. This presents the film with the opportunity to tackle an issue that is effecting a lot of young people around the globe, however, rather than do this it trivialises the issue, overlooks it in favour of continuing the main plot and then uses it as a joke as the film almost wants you to laugh at her for being called ‘poop girl’. In my mind not only is this a wasted opportunity but also it is incredibly dangerous.
Overall, this film highlights everything wrong with modern animation, and children should not be allowed to see it.
Ron is a nice character who made me laugh
It is harmful
Using online bullying as a joke
The main kid is a brat and the film says his friend with Ron is good when in fact it is deeply unhealthy
Kids today, and how again Hollywood executives don’t know the first thing
It’s message is rotten
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