The One and Only Ivan released to Disney+


Nicole LiMato, Staff writer

“The One and Only Ivan” was released onto Disney Plus Aug. 21, 2020. The movie was based on the book written by Katherine Applegate in the year 2012. The true story is about a gorilla named Ivan who tries to remember his past with the help of his elephant friend, Stella, as they try to think of a plan to escape the cages that they are living in. Ten months after the book was published, Ivan died at 50 years old from a tumor in his chest. Eight years later, “The One and Only Ivan” movie was released on the day he died. 

 This expertly tear-jerking Disney movie seamlessly combines human actors with expressive CGI animals, and even manages a happy ending out of a horrible true story,” Brad Newsome, top critic explained.

“The One and Only Ivan” had parts that would most definitely make people tear up. People loved how great the whole movie was, including how realistic the CGI’s looked which brought the movie together. The director and producer of the movie turned a horrible and miserable life for the CGI’s into an emotional ending. 

Too often, however, it feels like a rehash of other, better films, and there’s not enough that sets “The One and Only Ivan” apart,” said Adam Grah, top critic on Rotten Tomatoes.

Some people wrote in their reviews that the movie was boring and did not have enough excitement, saying the whole movie just felt like déjà vu. “The One and Only Ivan” was not adding in the huge thrill parts people hoped it would have because of the younger viewers. 

“The whole book was written in poetry, personally I’m not a fan of poetry, but the movie I felt was different. I think it definitely went into a lot more detail than the book,” said Caroline Cornell, freshman. “Ivan and Stella’s friendship was something special that not many people have. They were really close and it was really cute how in the end they kind of teamed up to help the new little elephant.”

Some viewers thought this movie was very cute, and heartwarming and would not want to change anything about it. Other viewers, however, would have liked it to be more interesting by adding more action rather than repeating the same scenes. Cornell herself thought this movie didn’t need any changes and rated it eight out of ten. 

“The One and Only Ivan” movie was a nice way of remembering Ivan and sharing his story. This movie was very touching and heartwarming. Although the movie reviews were mixed, “The One and Only Ivan” book won a Newbery medal winner for being one of the best books in children’s literature.  

“Despite its refusal to engage in any significant discourse about the treatment of animals being held in captivity, as well as the fairly flat filmmaking, “The One and Only Ivan” still has enough magic in it to make us tear up a few times,” stated movie critic, Lauren Coates.