Saturday, March 6, 2021

EUR Exclusive: Ron Funches Talks ‘Ivan’ Importance

Ron Funches  (photo by Rebecca Pimm)
Ron Funches  (photo by Rebecca Pimm)

*Ron Funches is the voice of Murphy the rabbit in Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan.”

No stranger to voice captivation, he is the voice of Cooper in the “Trolls” franchise and King Shark in Harley Quinn. With a string of other roles, Ron tells EUR he has done quite “a bit of voice acting,” and much more.

What is it about Murphy that speaks to you?

Oh, Murphy definitely speaks to me. He speaks through me. He is me. We’re this guy who kind of love where we are. We love our jobs. We love being entertainers, and he loves snacks and his firetruck. So we’re a lot alike.

And how does this film speak to what’s going on during a pandemic?

I think basically at a time where everyone is so stressed out, and there’s so many bad things going on, it’s nice to have a sweet, funny film that has a lot of heart. It’s about family, it’s about embracing your culture and who you are. And I think that’s a message that is surely needed right now. It’s also a message about treating each other with love and respect, no matter who you are. No matter if you’re the guy running the circus, or you’re Ivan, or you’re a rabbit in a firetruck; everybody deserves love and respect.

With so many important messages, is there one particular message you want viewers to walk away with?

Well, I think the message that I love the most is about home and just how important your background and your culture can be for you. And that when it gets taken away from you, sometimes it harms you without you even knowing. I think we have to, just as a society, learn to respect and honor each other’s cultures, each other’s homes, and each other’s faith. And I think that’s a big message in this movie and the one that resonates with me very much.

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ron funches as murphy
Ron Funches voices Murphy the rabbit in “The One and Only Ivan.” Photo Courtesy of Disney

Were you able to wrap your head around the fact that the real Ivan drew pictures?

You’re funny. He had a lot of time on his hand [laughs].

That is funny, a comedian telling me I’m funny. So what ever happened to the show you and LeBron James were going to do?

Oh, yes. I worked with LeBron and SpringHill and their production company on writing a project for them. Unfortunately, the series didn’t get picked up, but it was a great experience for me just to work with SpringHill and Maverick Carter, and all those people.

That project from what I understand involved gentrification. Gentrification and redlining are important issues in the black community and I think the subject is timely.

Hey, I like how you’re talking. I might have to make some phone calls after this interview because I had forgotten about it. But yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. I think it is an important subject, and I think it’s something that needs to be tackled from a particular perspective as well, so I would love to keep working on that.

What else are you up to?

I’m always doing standup comedy. I have a live stream special that I’m doing September 5th, on YouTube. In the meantime I want everyone to check out ‘The One and Only Ivan” streaming August 21, on Disney+.

 

Marie Moorehttp://eurweb.com
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.

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