This movie brings me back to my childhood when I feel movies with animals and humans were at their heyday. I liked how the animals became more human and friendly, you could really relate to them.
The concept of the movie is that a circus inside of a mall which is dying, the circus is having a hard time putting butts in seats, so the idea of a new animal is brought up. The baby elephant is brought and helps bring people back to the circus. The bigger elephant sadly dies but has a dying wish to have Ivan, the silver back gorilla (who used to be the main attraction at the circus) to take the baby elephant, Ruby, into nature where she belongs.
The sad thing about animals held in captivity is that they don’t really function well when released back into the wild. The animals need to be reintegrated back in. Another thing is that with all the animals that you can find in a circus also have different needs. Some need water, some need plains, and some need the forest. The animals do try to make an escape but do get returned to the mall where they currently belon.
Ivan is in charge of taking care of Ruby. Ruby being young always asks for stories and stories about the wild. Ivan is sure to tell Ruby all the stories that he can remember. Ruby slowly gets trained to do what elephants do best much to Ivan’s dismay of wanting more for her.
One of the workers at the zoo has a daughter and brings her to work with him everyday. The daughter likes to sit by Ivan’s enclosure and draws. On a whim the daughter leaves Ivan some crayons at first then leaves him some paint to draw with. It turns out that Ivan has a talent for drawing. With the pain Ivan covers his area where he goes to perform (which is part of his enclosure.). What Ivan draws is something quite spectacular and is something unexpected by the audience and the ringmaster himself.
The animals are eventually released from the circus to live better lives like they deserve and should have. It is really hart warming in the end. All the animals get what they deserve in the end. Even Ruby get what needs especially at a young age, freedom.
The movie is based on true events now which is of a low land gorilla named Ivan. The story of this gorilla is very much the same as what is depicted in the movie. He did live in a mall for a short period of time then was moved to a zoo where he had more room to roam like an animal of that size should. It was at the zoo that he was able to learn to paint. Ivan unfortunately didn’t see the outside for 27 years but is outside now which is all that matters.
Would I suggest The One and Only Ivan to others? Yes, I would. It is a very heart-warming tale to kindle any heart especially through these trying times.