Twentieth Century Fox’s fledgling animation company Locksmith show that others can compete with the ingenuity of Pixar – with this engaging science-fiction romp.

After the demise of Blue Sky Studios (the team behind Ice Age etc) this very topical story about the impact of social media on kids’ lives – is a refreshing tale led by Jack Dylan Grazer’s (IT) awkward teenager Barney Pudowski.

In the near future a new creation from tech giant Bubble, called the B:Bot – a robotic buddy tailored to know your every whim, help you make friends and constantly keep you connected to the internet/social media – is taking the world by storm.

Every kid at school has one, apart from Barney – a shy ‘poorer’ kid who struggles to make friends living with his ‘down on his luck’ Dad (The Hangover’s Ed Helms) and ‘protective’ Grandma (Oscar-winner Olivia Colman) – which leaves him even more of an outcast.

That is until his birthday when his Dad finds him a damaged version ‘off the back of a lorry’ – and his world changes due to his malfunctioning robot called Ron (voiced by another The Hangover favourite Zach Galifianakis).

With Ron unable to properly connect to any digital service, the robot has to learn his master’s commands in a completely different fashion – which launches Barney on a journey to learn about true friendship.

But when hi-jinks ensue, unfortunately you can’t hide in the social media age, and Bubble COO Andrew Morris (Deadpool 2’s Rob Delaney) will stop at nothing to shut Ron down.

And while this heart-warming comedy-animation still ultimately delivers a predictable ‘A to B’ script, the chemistry between the timid and fractured Barney and erratic zaniness of Ron makes this one of the most enjoyable films in recent memory outside of Disney/Pixar’s animation stronghold.

Rating: 3.5/5

Gavin Miller

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Voice Cast: Jack Dylan Grazer, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justice Smith, Rob Delaney & Olivia Colman

Running Time: 1 Hr 46 Mins

Directors: Jean-Phillipe Vine & Sarah Smith

Go to for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux