Where is home? A place where those you love dwell and make you feel safe. That definition, during these uncertain times are more challenging than ever with families being separated and humanity having to social distance for fear of contracting a virus that has proven to be deadly – regardless of age and race. Globally, we are starved for something as simple as a hug.
Home, for some can also be questionable. What if you didn’t know your origins or how you got to this exact moment in time. Imagine how some animal species must feel. Those species that call home a cold floor box not understanding why they are there or what their future holds.
Adapted from an award-winning book by Katherine Applegate, Disney’s The One and Only Ivan is an unforgettable story swirled in the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place one calls home. Ivan (Sam Rockwell), a 400 pound gorilla, grew up as a rambunctious, curious creature with a childlike wonder amongst humans. But, when his primate nature could no longer be contained or confined within the four walls of a Tudor home, things would significantly shift for the future. Based on the true story of a gorilla, who spent 27 years in a Tacoma strip mall before moving to an animal sanctuary, Ivan, after losing his dear friend, Stella (Angelina Jolie) becomes curious about what it would feel like to be free and in his natural habitat with those who look like him.
This film is the perfect dose of humanity medicine needed with performances ranging from the outrageously funny (Danny DeVito as Bob) to the grounded, warm and touching performance of Bryan Cranston as Mack. Cranston carries this film encompassing the very best of his acting toolbox, with his comedic chops front and center. DeVito is right behind him, with the charm and crass sense of humor we have grown to love for decades. It’s a great family film providing its audience with hope, humor and humanity all wrapped up and told through the eyes of Ivan, a gorilla with artistic skills no one would have ever seen coming. My heart was tattered by the end, as I was reminded that no living being should be caged animal or otherwise. Being a sucker for films were animals talk, I was immediately drawn in and captivated through a story that illustrates how immensely important it is to see someone that look like you. Representation matters, even for the animal kingdom The One and Only Ivan streams exclusively on Disney Plus on August 21st.