I watched the newly released Disney movie, The One and Only Ivan, over the weekend. For many, this may be a fascinating movie, but for me, it was epic.
We were not affiliated with this production, but is incredibly surreal to have a family story portrayed through a Disney lens. Not many people can say that.Click To Tweet
The film had captivated me from the beginning.
It opened with the introduction of Henrietta, a chicken that played baseball. We actually did have a chicken that played baseball!
Before Ivan’s chapter at the B&I, there was in fact a seal pool in the middle of the store which gave birth to the Frankie character in the film. At night, the seals would often get out of the pool & play in the store. During this era, the B&I did house an elephant named Sammy who had gotten loose one day & destroyed the entire paint department.
In its day, the B&I Circus store truly was the biggest little store in the world & it sparked the imaginations of countless children, but when my grandfather Earl had died in 1973, much of the magic had gone with him. Click To Tweet
This movie was fiction, but they did their research well.
Many elements of the movie struck a very strong, true chord. Some of these brought back many fun memories & others were very sad, dark recollections that I had long forgotten. This is a story that we did not come across one day, we were born into it. We lived this story & we have been shaped by it, both the good and the bad.
Disney’s telling of The One and Only Ivan had reminded me of all the bright imaginative colors of my childhood while grounding me to the black & white reality of my adulthood. They broke my heart & put it back together again. From the remaining members of Ivan’s family to the entire Disney family, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude for a story so brilliantly told.
Special thank yous go to Angelina Jolie for being inspired by her daughter Shiloh to bring Katherine’s novel to life, Bryan Cranston for a brilliant portrayal of a character who represented many family members, and to Sam Rockwell for giving a voice to my friend. To all the cast and crew, Thank you.