The One and Only Ivan Review: A Heartwarming Tale of Love, Unity and Freedom

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The One and Only Ivan premiered digitally on Disney+ Hotstar on August 21, 2020. The film is directed by Thea Sharrock from a screenplay by Mike White based on Applegate’s book and is produced by the late Allison Shearmur, Angelina Jolie, and Brigham Taylor.

The film stars the voices of Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, Brooklynn Prince, Chaka Khan, Ron Funches, Phillipa Soo, and Mike White, with the human characters portrayed by Ramón Rodríguez, Ariana Greenblatt, and Bryan Cranston.

Animals Have Hearts, They Deserve Freedom

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The One and Only Ivan is one of those Disney movies where the animals depicted are not mere creatures for humans to monetise but are valuable beings who have heart, who love and care and who feel happiness and pain.

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While the story is a bit predictable i.e., sad caged animals seeking freedom, the honesty and emotion the movie carries is genuine and heartwarming. The film is based on the story of the real-life mall gorilla named Ivan, who spent 27 years of his life caged.

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The film has more than just “humans are bad and every animal should live freely in the wild”. It tells the story of humans who care and have compassion and the beauty of animal rights and giving freedom that everyone deserves. For 90-long minutes, the film brings joy and is truly heartwarming.

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The One and Only Ivan focuses on its animals and their emotion. However, Julia, who brings Ivan crayons and paints and seemingly understands him, does not have much of a background. Her mother is suffering from a mysterious illness which the movie does not throw light on. However, the film’s primary focus is not the humans, but the animals. So it’s understandable that their backgrounds are not explored fully.

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The film does not get into theatrics while expressing the animals’ desire for freedom. It’s realistic and not overdramatic and depicts everything in a very subtle way, which is a refreshing change.

Stream It or Skip It

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STREAM IT! The One and Only Ivan is a light-hearted film and beautifully invokes various emotions, making it wholesome. You can watch this film with your family and it is a treat for every person of every age group.
The film has its heart at the right place and you just won’t want to miss this one.

The One and Only Ivan is now streaming on Disney+.

Read our other reviews here.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

The One and Only Ivan is a beautiful movie with a message about animal freedom. Directed by Thea Sharrock, the film is wholesome and worth watching.

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