Whimsy Heart Fun – The One And Only Ivan Junket

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Now is the perfect time for a film with heart, so it just makes sense to be excited about the release of The One And Only Ivan on Disney+ this Friday.

Ivan from the Disney film, The One And Only Ivan
Ivan, voiced by Sam Rockwell, in Disney’s THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

The One And Only Ivan – Film Created From A Best-Seller

Have you never heard about Ivan the Silverback Gorilla? The One And Only Ivan is Katherine Applegate’s New York Times bestselling and Newbery award winning novel.

This story focuses on the freedom of animals, the importance of keeping promises, and what it looks like to do what’s right for all.

Stars Galore During The One And Only Ivan Press Junket

We had the pleasure of attending the online press junket for The One And Only Ivan. All of the stars of this film were present, as well as the director Thea Sharrock. Here was the line-up:

  • Bryan Cranston (“Mack”) 
  • Angelina Jolie (“Stella”)
  • Sam Rockwell (“Ivan”)
  •  Danny DeVito (“Bob the dog”)
  •   Helen Mirren (“Snickers the poodle”) 
  • Chaka Khan (“Henrietta the chicken”)
  • Phillipa Soo (“Thelma the parrot”)
  • Brooklynn Prince (“Ruby”)
  • Arianna Greenblatt (“Julia”)
  • Ramon Rodriguez (“George”)
  • Ron Funchess (“Murphy the rabbit”)
  • Mike White (“Frankie the seal” / screenwriter)
  • Director Thea Sharrock

The fabulous Grae Drake was the host of the press junket. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Grae interview top celebrities, you are in for a treat.

You have to follow Grae on YouTube. You won’t regret it!

The chemistry was something to behold; even though most of the cast were voice actors in the film, the relationships they developed with one another was a joy to witness live.

While the kids and I have a great movie review coming in the next few days, we want to share some of the amazing words of wisdom shared by the cast and crew during the junket.

Thea Sharrock, director of The One And Only Ivan
Director Thea Sharrock on set of THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, based on the award-winning book by Katherine Applegate. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Working On Two Movies At Once

Director Thea Sharrock managed to do circus tricks of her own while working on this film. She knew the importance of honoring this story on the big screen.

Thea shared that due to filming live actors as well as working with the voice actors, it was like creating two movies at once.

All of the technical aspects of the CGI and voice work, combined with the live-action scenes and the messages she wanted the audience to embrace made this a welcomed challenge for her. From comedy, to emotional moments, to visually stunning scenes, it was all about monitoring balance.

We wanted to monitor the humor. We always wanted to balance it and keep that aspect going. But (also) not to be afraid of connecting with the emotionality of what is a really very powerful story.

Thea Sharrock
Actress Ariana Greenblatt from the movie The One And Only Ivan
Ariana Greenblatt as Julia in Disney’s THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, based on the award-winning book by Katherine Applegate and directed by Thea Sharrock. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Real Art By Ariana

One of the coolest things mentioned during the junket was about the artwork used in the film. Ariana Greenblatt, who plays Julia, actual drew some of the art displayed in quite a few of the scenes.

When I had breaks during school, I actually drew some of the drawings. The Bob one, and a few that you’ll see. It’s really cool. And it was such a cool opportunity for me to put my own art side into the movie. It’s something I’ll always remember, too.

Ariana Greenblatt
Stella the elephant from The One And Only Ivan
Stella, voiced by Angelina Jolie, in Disney’s THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Two Elephants Walk Into A Booth

One of the most adorable stories from the filming of The One And Only Ivan happened between two elephants.

Angelina Jolie plays Stella the elephant in the film. Brooklynn Prince plays Ruby the baby elephant. Brooklyn had a grand idea of both her and Angelina wearing elephant onesies during their voice-over recordings together.

She was unsure if Angelina would be into the idea, but she decided to send the onesie anyway. The way this story ended will make you smile. Here’s what Brooklynn said about it:

When I saw her at the Critic’s Choice awards I was like, hey, we should wear elephant onesies in the recording room. And I’m like, mom, please buy me and Angie elephant onesies.

Brooklynn Prince
Ruby the elephant from the film The One And Only Ivan
Ruby, voiced by Brooklynn Prince, in Disney’s THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

How cute is that? Of course Brooklynn’s mom was flabbergasted at the idea of purchasing a onesie for THE Angelina Jolie. Wouldn’t we all be that way? They bought the onesie, sent it to Angie, and hoped for the best. Then, the big day came.

I was like, when is Angie coming? When are we gonna wear our elephant onesies? And my dad said ‘you know, it’s probably hot. Or she might forget it.’ She comes in. She drops off her stuff. And she’s like, ‘you got in it before me?’ And so, she put it on. Me and her have a selfie together wearing our elephant onesies.

Brooklynn Prince
Actors Angelina Jolie and Brooklynn Prince from Disney+ The One And Only Ivan
Angelina Jolie and Brooklynn Prince behind the scenes of Disney’s THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN.

The One And Only Ivan Press Junket was full of fun stories and moments. There were quite a few nuggets shared that might be spoilers, so we’ll have a post of all the things you HAVE to know about the film AFTER you see it.

Our The One And Only Ivan review post and spoiler-filled moments posts will be up later this week, so stay tuned!

Be sure to watch The One And Only Ivan on Disney+ this Friday, August 21st!

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 8.18.20
    gm said:

    I loved this book! Our friends who are English teachers recommended it to our daughter, who was and is an avid reader, and she loved it and recommended it to me. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see the movie.

    • 8.18.20
      Amiyrah said:

      You are going to love the film! It was truly beautiful. There are some characters in the film that aren’t in the book, so that was a pleasant surprise. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the movie!