The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan ★★★½

Directed by Thea Sharrock, "The One and Only Ivan" is an engaging, misty-eyed look at family and freedom illustrated by animals and their handlers at small-scale shopping mall circus. Revolving around the silver backed Ivan, the film sees the circus running out of steam, Ivan finding a new talent, and the animal entertainers uncovering a need for the wild. Despite its impressively rendered CG animals and touches of Disney whimsy, the drama feels stirringly personal; its complex and human mix of themes and emotions are handled with grace and care. With its multi-faceted narrative and straight-forward execution, the Disney release makes for an gentle, appealing, and meaningful piece of work.

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