The One and Only Ivan Review: An emotional rollercoaster that lacks the fun elements that you expect from a Disney movie!

Sadhvika.S -

The One and Only Ivan Review: An emotional rollercoaster that lacks the fun elements that you expect from a Disney movie!
Disney+,Disney+ Hotstar
Movie Rated

Format: Feature Film ( Direct OTT Release)
Platform: Disney+ Hotstar, Disney +
Movie Rated: 13+
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy
Language: English
Digital Premiere Date: 21 August 2020


Directed by Thea Sharrock, The One and Only Ivan is a direct OTT release, based on true events which convey the life story of a gorilla named Ivan. The film was released on Disney+Hotstar, on the 21st of August.
What’s the story about?
The One and Only Ivan is set in the premises of a highway shopping centre called the Big Top Mall and the Video Arcade. The story revolves around the lives of the animals who participate in putting on a show for the people of their town with Ivan, the gorilla as their silverback. There are other animals that do take part in the show such as Stella, the sagacious elephant (Angelina Jolie), Snickers, the well-styled poodle (Helen Mirren), Henrietta, the baseball playing hen (Chaka Khan) and other talented ones. The show is hosted and managed by Mack (Bryan Cranston) who has been running the place for many years. Ivan (Sam Rockwell), has been the star of the show for decades, but when his stardom takes a dip, Ruby (Brooklyn Prince), the baby elephant steals the show with her cuteness. Ivan and his best pal, Stella’s ultimate goal is to, however, set all the animals in the circus free into the wild and give the troupe their freedom that they deserve.


The One and Only Ivan is an apt Disney movie which will keep children engaged with its exciting characters and animals who put on the show. The film offers a variety of talents in the animals, and brings out a happy vibe throughout with certain comic events, especially from the rascally poodle, Bob (Danny DeVito). There is a neat balance between fun, amusement, comedy and emotional connection. Even though Ivan seems to be an angry and ferocious gorilla on stage, the cute and loving side of him is beautifully portrayed in the backstage along with his peers. Despite all the cute and fun moments in the film, the movie does drop a little in the middle in terms of captivity as it seems to be more of an emotional ride than an entertaining one, which was expected out of a Disney movie. The fun and frolic which is usually expected out of a film featuring animals is missing here and could have been put in to ensure a better product.


All the voices in the movie suited the characters perfectly, especially Angelina Jolie as Stella the elephant and Danny DeVito as Bob the poodle. One character that seemed to have caught my eye the most is definitely Julia (Ariana Greenblatt), who appears as the daughter of an employee in the circus who gives a cute and charming appearance, both to the audience and to the animals of the show.
Music and Other Departments
The music of the film had few numbers by Maroon 5, like their infamous single, Memories, which might be a reference to the old memory of the book from which the movie has been adapted from. The effort taken to deliver a movie with many effects and animation was conveyed appropriately.


The blend of live-action and well-integrated computer animation graphics are the definite highs of the film.
The movie does dip a little during the interim as it majorly involves emotional feelings of the animals and less of their naughtiness and energetic appearance that was expected.
Did I enjoy it?
As a person who loves live action-animated movies, I definitely did find The One and Only Ivan amusing, despite the over emotional ride that is carried throughout. However, I was a bit thrown off by the overdose of melodrama in the film.
Would I recommend it?
This is a movie that would satisfy any kid’s boredom and which will make you reminisce your childhood if you have read the book. However, it is not without its share of flaws.

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