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The One And Only Ivan On Disney+ Activity Packet & Movie Review

Our family has a Friday night tradition of turning on Disney+ to get our snuggles on while watching a family movie. With a six-year-old and a three-year-old, sometimes we can’t always agree on what to watch. On a rare harmonious occasion, we find the perfect film that holds everyone’s attention. We watched The One And Only Ivan this weekend and fell in love with the sweet film. It’s a heartwarming movie that the whole family can enjoy.

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The One and Only Ivan Movie Poster - now streaming on Disney+

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The One And Only Ivan Parental Movie Review

The movie is based off of the New York Times Best Seller book, The One And Only Ivan, that was written by renowned author Katherine Applegate. I’ve never read the young adult novel, so I can’t compare it to the film. However, my oldest is already asking if we can read the book together after our family movie night.

Since coming out of lockdown in April, our family has placed a much higher value on the place we call home. The movie plot features the power of friendship and the significance what they call home. 

The One And Only Ivan Movie Review


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. Disney brings the animals to life with the power of CGI and the voices of A-list actors: Sam Rockwell as the voice of Ivan; Angelina Jolie as the voice of Stella; Danny DeVito as the voice of Bob the dog; Helen Mirren as the voice of Snickers the poodle – just to name a few.

If you’ve been reading my movie reviews, you know by now that I have a hard time enjoying life-like looking animals that are voiced. Yet somehow, with Disney magic, they got it right this time. Our whole family connected with the animal characters and grew a soft spot for our favorites. 

Disney + Movie Review, Family Movies on Disney+


In one particular scene, a main character passes away. I didn’t expect it to effect my kids, but my six-year-old shed a few tears. It was the first time I really saw him passionately connect with a movie. Both of my kids were really invested in the storyline and wanted to see how the friendships developed through the loss and even adventure.

As parents, in control of the Disney+ watchlist, it’s really easy to pass on good films. I’m so glad that we took the time to watch The One And Only Ivan together. It’s such a sweet family-friendly film that you don’t want to miss out on.

About The One And Only Ivan 

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 Movie Review, Disney Plus Movie Review



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The One And Only Ivan Educational Activity Packet

Here’s how you can turn your family movie night into part of your virtual school science lesson! Check out this awesome educational printable about gorillas, that ties into the movie. My son loves learning about animals and this is the perfect way to understand a bit more about the fascinating lives of gorillas.

To print, just click the downloadable link:


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