By Zach Johnson
The Walt Disney Studios announced today that the heartwarming adventure The One and Only Ivan, an adaptation of the bestselling, award-winning book about one very special gorilla, directed by Thea Sharrock, will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on August 21, 2020.
The film, which was previously scheduled to be released theatrically by The Walt Disney Studios, is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization, and the significance of the place one calls home. The One and Only Ivan, which comes to the screen in an impressive hybrid of live-action and CGI, is based on Katherine Applegate’s book, which won numerous awards upon its publication in 2013, including the Newbery Medal. Ivan is a 400-pound silverback gorilla who shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant and Bob the dog. He has few memories of the jungle where he was captured, but when a baby elephant named Ruby arrives, it touches something deep within him. Ruby is recently separated from her family in the wild, which causes him to question his life, where he comes from, and where he ultimately wants to be.
“The world has changed in a heartbeat. People all over the globe have shared important, life- changing experiences in ways we have not seen for a century,” said Sharrock. “In response to this, I am so happy that we can share Katherine Applegate’s delightful and original story, The One and Only Ivan, with the world this August on Disney+, bringing some joy through this unique movie of true friendship, inspired by a true story.”
The film features the voices of Sam Rockwell as Ivan the gorilla; Angelina Jolie as Stella the elephant; Danny DeVito as Bob the dog; Helen Mirren as Snickers the poodle; Chaka Khan as Henrietta the chicken; Mike White as Frankie the seal; Brooklynn Prince as Ruby the baby elephant; Ron Funches as Murphy the rabbit; Phillipa Soo as Thelma the parrot; and stars Ramón Rodríguez, Ariana Greenblatt, and Bryan Cranston. Mike White wrote the screenplay based on Applegate’s novel. The late Allison Shearmur, Jolie, and Brigham Taylor are producers, with Sue Baden-Powell and Sharrock serving as executive producers.