Disney’s ‘The One and Only Ivan’ Will Melt Your Heart

Alice Oscura – Featured Writer

The One and Only Ivan is a Disney fantasy film directed by Thea Sharrock. This film has one heck of a star-studded voice (and live action) cast including Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, Ramón Rodríguez, Ariana Greenblatt, and Bryan Cranston. Rockwell voices Ivan the silver back gorilla. It is inspired by the true story of Ivan who lived in captivity for 27 years before being adopted by Zoo Atlanta in 1994.

The main theme of this movie is something that is very near and dear to my heart. I have never ever liked circuses as far back as I can remember. It is a different form of cruelty to have those types of animals locked up in cages and being forced to perform tricks for people’s entertainment on a daily basis. Even if they are being treated well by their caretakers and owners, it is not right. It is so far away from what their natural habitat looks like it is not funny.

At least in zoos and sanctuaries work is being done to ensure that certain endangered species breed in an environment that is safe from poachers and heartless people wanting to make trophies out of them by mounting their heads on walls.

IVAN INNER MONOLOGUE: Who let this dog in here?

Now I am not a crazy animal activist, but I have seen enough to know that humans are very destructive, and we have been responsible for a lot of animals going extinct due to over hunting. Sometimes babies are taken away from their parents and are forced to perform tricks and take pictures with people for money. Then when they get too big sadly, they are euthanised, and the vicious cycle starts all over again.

There are many other terrible instances where animals are used and blatantly abused for entertainment. One of them is bullfighting where the bulls are weakened by stabbing them with lances in order to draw blood. The bull is physically weakened and dying in order for the matador to put on a good show. Do you think that is right?

This looks handy. I’ll call you ‘hand’

The film reads like a love letter to humans from animals. Wild animals have been proven to love the humans that care for them, but they are their happiest in an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible where they are free to roam and be themselves and not be forced to do something that is not within their nature.

The voices of some of our favorite actors and actresses adds that personal touch to help the audience connect with the emotions of the animals. Angelina Jolie as the voice of Stella the Elephant hits you to the core with her soothing motherly tones. She is the one that becomes the beacon to inspire Ivan to want something more than the life that he grew up with. Bryan Cranston proves once again how awesome he is by playing another complex character, Mack, who is the owner of The Big Top Mall. He has raised Ivan ever since he was a baby gorilla and treated him very well. We see how much Mack genuinely loves Ivan, but at the end of day his job was to keep the money coming in to pay the bills. He is not cruel to any of his animal performers by the way, but he does lose his patience from time to time.

Danny DeVito voices Bob the Stray Dog who is not only cute and hilarious but has got some street smarts. He is wary of humans and thinks that they are all bad, but Stella teaches him differently.


Unless you have a heart made out of lead, there is no way that you are going to watch this movie without having tears in your eyes at some point. It is the perfect family movie, and everyone can come away learning some particularly important lessons. We can admire these majestic animals better when they are free to be themselves and we have an opportunity to still do what is right and protect what is left. We should teach our kids to have compassion otherwise there will be nothing left for future generations to enjoy, especially when these noble creatures begin to slowly disappear. And eventually we would be left with nothing but pictures to remind us of what an elephant or gorilla looks like.

Please guys remember to do whatever you can to show your support for them no matter how small. Many organizations are passing around petitions online to help the preservation of different animals. Please sign and spread the word to stop the mindless killing of sharks for their fins, to stop out of season hunting, poaching and the killing of the elephants for their ivory. You can show your support by a simple action like not purchasing the souvenirs or by products made from these practices. Also try to donate to the foundations that help to feed and protect endangered species.

Rating: 9 out of 10

For more family friendly fare you can check out a review of Fearless here. And for more heart warming posts you can follow Redmangoreviews on Facebook here. 

39AFB96D-4DEF-4DED-8DFE-3400E758CE9B Dark Alice has an old soul and a curious mind. I believe that anyone can be a hero and that the good guys should always win! I dislike cruelty to animals and think that they have far superior qualities to humans. My motto is there is no future without the past. I also have a weird penchant for Paranormal TV shows even though the slightest sound makes me jump.

I enjoy writing reviews and throwing in fun facts to pique the readers’ curiosity. My ultimate goal in life would be to become a published writer one day. You can find me as Dark Alice Reviews on Facebook, my Instagram is alice_oscura and my Twitter handle is @lise_veliz2. For more on me you can click here.


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