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The One true Ivan

The One true Ivan

USA 2020 - with Bryan Cranston, Ramon Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:The one and only Ivan
Genre:Adventure, Children's Movie, Drama
Direction:Thea Sharrock
Cinema release:11.09.2020
Production country:USA 2020
Running time:Approx. 95 min.
Rated:From 6 years
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Ivan, a 180 kilogram silverback gorilla, is the star of Mack's circus show (Bryan Cranston). Together with the lady elephant Stella and other animals, Ivan entertains visitors to the shopping mall of an American suburb day after day. But little has been left of the glamour of the old days. Less and less people want to see Ivan and his animal friends. A new baby elephant named Ruby, who has just been separated from his parents in the wilderness, is supposed to help with the rescue. Ivan has to promise the seriously ill Stella that he will take care of Ruby and bring her back to freedom. Together with the dog Bob and the other animals of the circus, Ivan wants to make this promise come true.

"The only true Ivan" is based on the popular children's book by Katherine Applegate, which in turn was inspired by the true story of the gorilla Ivan. The family film was produced as a mixture of live action and CGI, with the computer-generated animals being given very prominent voices in the USA. For example Sam Rockwell as Gorilla Ivan, Angelia Jolie as Elephant Stella, Danny DeVito as Dog Bob or Helen Mirren as Poodle Lady Snickers stood behind the microphone. The result has become a typical Disney film, which one could accuse of using such popular stylistic devices as humanizing animals by letting them speak. A certain romanticisation of animals used for the amusement of people in captivity could also be criticised, especially at the beginning of the film.

But this would not do justice to the film. Even though there are justified points of criticism and the film truly doesn't enter new territory, Thea Sharrock manages very well to hit the target audience right in the heart with charmingly drawn characters and a mixture of child-oriented humor and drama. You are allowed to laugh - even if some of the jokes are quite childish - and at the same time you can cry a little bit, in other moments you can join in the excitement without it ever getting too exciting for children. So all the criteria for a nice family movie are fulfilled - the positive message included, of course.

Despite some nice pictures and the great animated animals, it's not bad that "The Only Real Ivan" didn't make it to the big screen as originally planned. For that the movie somehow doesn't seem "big" enough. Rather, it offers exactly the kind of film that you would expect from a streaming service as an enticing original: a film for which you might not necessarily have spent 15 Euros in the cinema, but which is entertaining and charming enough to offer a few nice moments in home cinema. And for that you will clearly enter: Absolutely worth seeing - also for the successful synchronisation!

"The only true Ivan" can be streamed on Disney+ since 11.09.2020.

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "The One true Ivan (USA 2020)"
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