Disney today announced that The One and Only Ivan — originally scheduled for a theatrical release on Aug. 14, 2020 — will skip theaters and head straight to Disney+ a week later.
This marks the second Disney film that has moved to direct-to-streaming; Artemis Fowl canceled its spring release and landed on Disney+ on June 12. (Reviews, however, have not been great.)
While eschewing theaters may have once been a death sentence for a film — to say nothing about how much money it'd lose the studio — times, as they say, have changed. And Disney+, which has been around for a little less than seven months at this point, already has more than 54 million paid subscribers .
"The world has changed in a heartbeat," said Thea Sharrock, who directed the film adaption of the Newbery-winning book by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao. "In response to this, I am so happy that we can share Katherine Applegate's delightful and original story, 'The One and Only Ivan' with the world this August on Disney+, bringing some joy through this unique movie of true friendship, inspired by a true story."
The One and Only Ivan is about a 400-pound silverback gorilla who lives in a communal habitat in a suburban shopping mall with an elephant named Stella, and a dog named Bob. He doesn't remember too much from when he was captured. But the arrival of a baby elephant named Ruby sparks some memories.
Sam Rokwell voices Ivan in the film. Angelina Joie is Stella the elephant, and Danny DeVito is Bob the dog. Helen Mirren plays Snickers the Poodle, and Chaka Khan is Henrietta the chicken.
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