The One and Only Ivan is now set for an August premiere on Disney+

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

The One and Only Ivan, animation, Disney+

Sing it with me now, folks. Ch-ch-changes!

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+ August 21, 2020.

The film, which had been previously scheduled for a theatrical release 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.

“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 Thea 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.”

Starring in the film adaptation of Applegate's touching tale of unlikely companions are Sam Rockwell as Ivan the gorilla; Aneglina 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; and Phillipa Soo as Thelma the parrot. Ramon Rodriguez, Ariana Greenblatt and Bryan Cranston also star.

Here's a brief synopsis for the upcoming film, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios:

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 ONE AND ONLY IVAN's move to Disney+ will come as a shock to no one as theaters are still in the midst of reopening during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Yes, the film will miss out on those box office dollars, but relocating films to streaming services has proven to be a sound solution to theater closure woes. I mean, it's not great cinemas, but the ball needs to keep rolling if we're ever going to sort this mess, no? With any luck, some very hard work, and a lot of changes to the way people patronize theaters, movie houses will be back in full-swing before long, and we can start to put all of this nasty COVID-19 business behind us. Here's hoping for better days all around.

Source: Disney+

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.