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Comedian Ron Funches Discusses His Role in Disney’s New Film “The One and Only Ivan”



Disney has something special in store for anyone who loves a touching story that also happens to be inspired by true events. “The One and Only Ivan” will be premiering on Disney+ on August 21st, the film is about a gorilla named Ivan who is the headliner in a circus located in a suburban strip mall in Tacoma, Washington.

Before the film, Ivan’s story was told in a book with the same title. “I still remember the headline…It read ‘a gorilla sulks in a Tacoma mall as his future is debated.” Katherine Applegate, the author of “The One and Only Ivan” stated as she recalls the time she first heard about Ivan’s story. “I was astounded that A, that there was a gorilla in a mall and B, that he’d been there for 27 years.” Applegate researched the story then turned it into a fiction where she personified the animals, giving them a voice, and telling the story from Ivan’s point of view. The book is an award-winning, best-seller that touched the hearts of many.

What’s The Word was able to get early access to view the film and I must say that I thought it was phenomenal. Disney did a great job at capturing the emotions of not only Ivan, but all of the other animals that accompanied him in the circus. 

I was able to speak with comedian Ron Funches about his role in the film, the future of animals in captivity, and his thoughts on the movie as a whole. Funches voiced the bunny rabbit named Murphy, he stated that it was a really fun voicing the character because he could really be himself in the role. 

You can see the full interview between me and Funches below.

Be sure to stream “The One and Only Ivan” on Disney+ on August 21st.


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