Disney Plus Releases ‘The One and Only Ivan’


Emma Rohrs, Staff

Disney has made many short films during the COVID-19 pandemic to try and lift everyone’s spirits. Recently they released a movie titled “The One and Only Ivan”, inspired by the novel with the same name written by Katherine Applegate, that was based on a true story.

For many years there has been debate about whether circuses should continue to use live animals in their shows. Because of how many captive animals get mistreated while behind the tent, many activists have called for the abolition of the practice. Disney portrays the animals in a different manner. In this film, the animals are never harmed or abused but rather given love and care they need. The story begins with a gorilla named Ivan who grew up in a loving human home, but when finances go south Ivan’s owner throws caution to the wind and decides to open a circus.

When the circus brings in a baby elephant, Ivan begins to show his creative side. Ivan is determined to show the public that he is not the fierce Silver-Backed gorilla caricature he is made out to be by showing the world his dreams of becoming an artist. Throughout the film, Disney makes a point to draw a distinction between animal abuse and animal captivity by creating a scenario in which though animals are held captive, they are loved and they are happy.

The movie is very heartfelt and draws out some tears in even the most cold-hearted of viewers. The story is told from Ivan’s perspective, so the audience can experience his emotions alongside him throughout the entire movie. We get to watch Ivan’s life evolve from being behind the walls, to being outside of them.

Per usual, Disney worked its magic and entertained audiences even with a worldwide pandemic still rearing its ugly head.

“The One and Only Ivan”- 5/5