Actress Angelina Jolie has put on her producer’s hat for the new Disney film “The One and Only Ivan”. The movie is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Katherine Applegate, which is based on a true story.
Ivan is a silverback gorilla who performs daily at a circus in an American mall. 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 Ivan to question his life, where he comes from and where he ultimately wants to be.
“We are at a time where we can no longer ignore real hard realities in the world and children also know that,” Jolie told Reuters about the film. “It inspires them in their activism.”
None of the animals featured in the film is real and were recreated using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).
The voice actors, which include Sam Rockwell (Ivan), Danny DeVito (Bob the dog), Helen Mirren (Snickers the dog) and Jolie (Stella the elephant), had the luxury of recording their voices together before the coronavirus outbreak.
Mirren hopes that by giving a voice to the animals, audiences will look at them in a different way. “What we don’t do is ever really understand them as autonomous creatures that we are sharing the planet with,” Mirren said. “We’re in it together.”
The animal welfare organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) praised the movie for its anti-exploitation message, not using any live animals and highlighting the power of protest.
The One and Only Ivan is set for release on Disney+ on August 21.