The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan (2020) ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: Thea Sharrock. Cast: Sam RockwellBryan CranstonPhillipa Soo , Chaka Khan, Mike White, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Danny DeVito, Ramon Rodriguez.

A harmless and charming little film with some truly astonishing visual effects, which are so good that in fact you might not even notice they are actually effects: believe it or not, no animals were used in this film at all! “The One and Only Ivan” has quite rightly been nominated for its CGI work at the Oscars. It is so well done that somehow it makes even the animals talking to one another believable.

Taken from a children’s book with the same name, which was itself inspired by a real story (plenty of that in the credits), this is as gentle as any Disney-produced films I’ve seen in a long time. Hardly a baddie or a scene of peril throughout and even if it features some animals in cages to start with, there’s a happy ending around the corner and there’s no suffering in sight. Even its “captor” (Brian Cranston) is a good man at heart. A good solid cast rounds it all up: Sam Rockwell, Danny DeVito, Angelina Jolie (also producer of the film) and the slightly wasted Phillipa Soo, Chaka Khan and Helen Mirren.

It’s the perfect film for kids and families, full of life lessons, about both animals and humans, but if you are a bit of a cynic, you may find its slow pace, predictable storyline and lack of thrills a bit of a turn off.

On DisneyPlus

Also it’s probably a little bit too “by-the-number” to make any serious impact on its audience. No big laughs and big tears, at least not here, but we were all left with a smile on our faces.

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