THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Ivan, a silverback gorilla, is the star of a shopping mall attraction, but when baby elephant Ruby arrives, Ivan learns how to keep a promise and to be who he really is.
Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez
Last year, Walt Disney released films like “Mulan” and “Soul,” which were impossible to miss. But their live-action fare, “The One and Only Ivan,” might have fallen through the cracks. I know it did for me. Bryan Cranston plays Mack, one of the only human characters, a showman running a circus out of a mall in the ’70s. The main event at this circus is a silverback gorilla named Ivan, who can talk to the other animals, including a seal, an elephant, a poodle, and a bunny. The voice cast includes immense talent like Sam Rockwell, Angelina Jolie, and Danny DeVito. Ivan isn’t drawing the crowds like he used to, so Mack brings in the new star, a baby elephant named Ruby. With youth joining them, Ivan and the rest of the animals begin understanding how dismal their situation is and how they don’t want that for Ruby, so they start planning their escape.
As far as I could tell, none of the animals in “The One and Only Ivan” were real. The animals are animation is seamless. I remember seeing Walt Disney’s live-action version of “Dumbo” and not being convinced by the visual effects done on the little elephant. Still, whatever shortcomings they had, they’ve fixed for Ruby the elephant in this film. When it comes to animated animal movies, however, I feel like I’m a bit jaded. These films have been around for a long time and are usually, to some degree, pretty convincing. There’s nothing mind-blowing about the visual effects here. That leaves the race for Best Visual Effects open to any films that can do it better. My guess is “Tenet” or “Mulan” will garner more attention in this category. Picking “The One and Only Ivan” over a film like “The Invisible Man,” which I would have considered a front-runner was it nominated, blows my mind.
|2008 (81st)||Best Visual Effects||“The Dark Knight”||NOMINATED|
Greg Fisher | Ben Jones | Santiago Colomo Martinez
|— 1st time Nominees —|
August 21, 2020
“The One and Only Ivan”
by K. A. Applegate
Walt Disney Pictures
(for mild thematic elements)
93RD ACADEMY AWARDS | OSCARS CHALLENGE
MARCH 28, 2021