It’s been a rough year for the CGI talking-animal subgenre of live-action children’s films — before the COVID-19 pandemic decided to wreck pretty much everything, it was already 0-for-2. There was Dolittle, which sucked, and there was The Call of the Wild, a really decent little film that was held back by, well, the fact that it starred a terrifying CGI dog (if only it had just been a cartoon!). Now here’s The One and Only Ivan, Disney’s attempt to cash in on this craze, even if there’s no real demand or anything, which features the voices of Sam Rockwell, Brooklynn Prince, Danny Devito, Angelina Jolie, and the physical presence of Bryan Cranston. To be fair, it looks pretty goddamn cute, at least based on this trailer for the film that Disney dropped on Wednesday.
Here’s the trailer:
Here’s a synopsis:
“An adaptation of the award-winning book about one very special gorilla, Disney’s ‘The One and Only Ivan’ is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place one calls home. Ivan is a 400-pound silverback gorilla who shares a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with Stella the elephant, Bob the dog, and various other animals. 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 heartwarming adventure, which comes to the screen in an impressive hybrid of live-action and CGI, is based on Katherine Applegate’s bestselling book, which won numerous awards upon its publication in 2013, including the Newbery Medal.”
The One and Only Ivan hits Disney+ on August 14, when it was originally scheduled to hit theaters.