The One and Only Ivan's story is about the titular Ivan, a silverback gorilla, who resides in captivity in a suburban mall with other animals — an aging female elephant and a stray dog. He has a few vague memories of his childhood in the jungle when he was free and among his own kind.
The One and Only Ivan is an upcoming fantasy movie based on the eponymous children’s novel written by KA Applegate. The film is helmed by Thea Sharrock, known for Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin starrer Me Before You. Mike White has penned the screenplay.
The story is about the titular Ivan, a silverback gorilla, who resides in captivity in a suburban mall with other animals — an aging female elephant and a stray dog. He has a few vague memories of his childhood in the jungle when he was free and among his own kind. The special thing about Ivan is he can draw stuff. Not excellent, mind you, but remarkable for an animal. His daily life includes munching on bananas, frolicking with other animals and designing artwork that gets sold by the mall’s owner.
After a new member, an abused baby elephant arrives, things change in the mall due to the owner’s daughter. The primary point of the movie appears to be that captivity is cruel for animals, and it is not right to put them in cages. The film also deals with themes like mental and physical trauma, artistic expression, memories, friendship and so on.
As you can probably tell, this film is a hybrid of live-action and CGI. The trailer shows off the advances made by Hollywood in terms of realism regarding non-human characters. The One and Only Ivan won’t get a theatrical release, and that is a shame, because the way the titular ape is designed and performed presumably through motion-capture is second to only Andy Serkis’ work as Caesar. The details are exquisite, and it is nearly impossible to distinguish it from the real thing. The visuals of other animals are as good.
The story seems heartwarming too, and though it may not bring nothing new to the table, it is certainly going to be worth a watch. There is a lot of humour too as you will expect from a film of this kind.
The cast is pretty stacked. Bryan Cranston plays the role of Mack, the owner of the mall. Ramón Rodríguez, Ariana Greenblatt, Indira Varma among others play the other human characters. Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren and others voice the animal characters.
The One and Only Ivan will release on August 14, 2020.
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