You can’t force art.
These were the words my 10 year old daughter voiced right in the middle of our screening of The One And Only Ivan.
The One And Only Ivan Parent Review
The One And Only Ivan is now available for streaming on Disney+. This fantastic film, based author 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.
As a Parent of a 10 year old and 5 year old, did I think The One And Only Ivan was appropriate for younger kids? I’ll answer that in detail within this review.
The Movie Length is Appreciated
The One And Only Ivan is only 94 minutes long, which was a great length of time for my 5 year old.
Since we were in the comfort of our home, he was able to get comfortable to watch in the way he wanted.
If we would seen it in theaters, I’m sure he would have had to use the restroom or stretch his legs around the hour mark.
My 10 year old sat during the whole movie, and was entranced by the story line. It was easy to follow, and really touched her as an animal lover and artist.
Bob’s Comedic Genius Perfect For Kids
According to my 5 year old, one of the best parts of the film is Bob. Bob is the hilarious yet wise dog in the film, voiced by Danny Devito.
The laughs that escaped my youngest during Bob’s scenes were genuine. Between Bob’s antics and Murphy the Bunny’s one-liners, your little one will get a good amount of chuckles.
Stella’s Story May Induce Sadness
Stella the elephant is voiced by Angelina Jolie, and as you can imagine, she brings her heartfelt story to life.
As you watch Stella’s story unfold, keep an eye on your kids. No spoilers here, but her story and connection to Ivan is a bit of a tearjerker.
Your sensitive kids may need a moment to process it all, or they may have questions after the film. Be prepared to have a conversation about it.
Ruby Is Elephant Sized Joy
On the other side of the elephant coin, we have Ruby’s story.
Ruby’s relationship with both Stella and Ivan will warm your heart and the hearts of your kids.
Right when I was sure my youngest would get distracted by something and stop watching the film, Ruby hit the screen. He was glued to the television.
Ruby IS our kids. She’s full of wonder, questions, and endless love. Brooklynn Prince voices Ruby, and you can tell she highly enjoyed doing so.
Big Topics To Talk About After
There were quite a few important conversation starters presented during this 90 minute movie.
A few you may want to discuss around the dinner table after you see the film together as a family:
- The effects of putting animals in cages
- The importance of kindness
- What it means to keep a promise
- What being an advocate for animals looks like
- How to stand up for what’s right
These were things we talked about immediately after the movie, and even my 5 year old could grasp the conversations.
The story was still fresh in his mind, so he was able to voice his opinion about each topic, and use the characters to express each thought.
The Review Wrapped Up In One Sentence
“Oh my goodness. That was a nice movie!” – James, age 5.
We give this film 6 thumbs up. The storyline wasn’t at all trivial or basic, but it was enjoyable and understandable for a younger audience.