Christian Paystrup’s review published on Letterboxd:
I don’t think everything in One and Only Ivan works completely, and I feel the movie had some underutilized elements when it comes to animal captivity, but overall, I really appreciated the surprising amount of maturity this particular one had. It still has pretty low hanging humor for kids and stuff, but it also actively asks its audience both young and old to think a little more deeper than they likely would have, which I think while in the moment, kids might not be fully onboard with this one, they’ll definitely find a lot to appreciate as they get older. Reminds me a bit of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are that way, even if that is easily the superior film between the two. But if we want to talk about what got me onboard especially it was Ivan himself, mainly in terms of how well the VFX team and voice performance by Sam Rockwell come together so beautifully. There’s a ton of humanity behind Rockwell’s delivery, and the visual effects did a lot to help work with it. Heck, the whole cast and VFX overall were really well done. So yeah, not exactly one I’ll likely be rewatching anytime soon, but families will definitely enjoy it, and I appreciated the viewing experience a lot more than I was planning.