2020 has certainly been a strange year – we’ve yet to step into a movie theater since March. As huge movie lovers, we’re thankful for streaming networks like Disney Plus who’s releasing brand new films like The One and Only Ivan, now streaming.
My family and I sat down to watch the film over the weekend, which we have a unique connection to. Read more on that below!
The One and Ony Ivan Review
About the film:
An adaptation of the award-winning book about one very special gorilla, Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan” is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place one calls home. Ivan is a 400-pound silverback gorilla who shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant, Bob the dog, and various other animals.
Ivan has few memories of the jungle where he was born, but when a baby elephant named Ruby arrives, it touches something deep within him. Ivan begins to question his life, where he comes from and where he ultimately wants to be.
The movie stars Sam Rockwell as the voice of Ivan; Angelina Jolie as the voice of Stella; Danny DeVito as the voice of Bob the dog; Helen Mirren as the voice of Snickers the poodle; Brooklynn Prince as the voice of Ruby; Ramon Rodriguez as the mall employee George; Ariana Greenblatt as George’s daughter Julia; Chaka Khan as the voice of Henrietta the chicken; Mike White as the voice of Frankie the seal; Ron Funches as the voice of Murphy the rabbit; Phillipa Soo as the voice of Thelma the parrot; and Bryan Cranston as Mack, the circus attraction’s owner.
The film is an impressive hybrid of live-action and CGI technology – it’s stunning, but I would expect nothing less from Disney!
Fun fact: my husband and his family grew up in Washington for some time and he remembered visiting Ivan on more than one occasion at the B&I strip mall in Tacoma. He doesn’t recall ever seeing a show but did visit Ivan at the glass enclosure within the mall. To this day, gorillas are his favorite animal, and now I see why.
In addition to Ivan the silverback gorilla, there are a few more animal friends that occupy space in the mall including an elephant, seal, a few dogs, a rabbit, and more. Ivan was in the enclosure for twenty years – never seeing sunlight, or grass, before he was eventually transferred to the Atlanta Zoo. My boys and I visited the Atlanta Zoo two years ago, however, we were too late to see Ivan.
In the film, the animals actually escape the mall one night but find themselves lost very quickly as the outside world looks so different to them. The owner, Mack, eventually convinces them to return to the mall. This is where a shift happens because his assistant’s young daughter truly understands Ivan and can see he’s longing for a change.
In this powerful part of the film, Ivan begins using finger paint, supplied by the young girl and spends the whole night making a masterpiece.
We adored this film and know you and your family will too! See The One and Only Ivan now streaming on Disney Plus.