Writer: Robert L Baird, Tim Federle (Screenplay)
Starring: (Voice Talents) John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs
Plot: After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure.
Tagline – Built to fight. Born to love
Runtime: 1 Hours 48 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Animation
Story: Ferdinand starts when a young bull calf doesn’t want to become a fighting bull, he runs away from his farm and is raised by a young girl called Nina who lets him live a life he enjoys, with flowers and being kind natured. Once Ferdinand is grown up he becomes an enormous bull, meaning he can’t go to the flower festival.
Ferdinand decides to go anyway causing chaos, being seen as a beast, he is taken back to the farm where he meets the fellow grown up bulls, including his old rival Valiente, as the bulls are preparing to impress a bull fighter, Ferdinand searches for a way to escape and return to his quiet life once again.
Thoughts on Ferdinand
Characters – Ferdinand is a kind natured bull going against everything he has grown up to be, a fierce beast for bull fighting. He likes flowers, doesn’t want conflict and always wants to make sure other animals are safe, he is raised in a small farm away from the conflict only to be mistaken as a beast and taken back to a bullfighting farm, he still refuses to fight and spends his time there trying to show the other bulls about life away from fighting. Valiente is rival bull, he is always the one that believed he is the strongest and most worthy of being selected as the next bull, he dominates the farm with his power. Lupe is a calming goat that is sent to help Ferdinand relax when he returns to the farm, she gets most of the laughs through the film as she is the slapstick figure. We do get plenty of supporting characters with the other bulls, the feisty hedgehogs and the stuck up horse, each one adds to the comedy through the film.
Story – The story here follows the reluctant fighting bull that gets captured and must teach the other bulls about their fate before arranging an ambitious escape. This story does dive into the ideas of being able to follow your own path in life, don’t let the crowd lead you down a trail that isn’t for you, we get the themes of standing up for what you believe to be right and the difficult side of the story sees how bullfighting is seen through the bulls eyes, almost seeing it as an honour to be selected, which of course is how a human imagines it to be. The bull fighting side of the film will be too dark for a younger audience, but hopeful it can help shape a world where the barbaric form of entertain ends.
Adventure/Comedy – The adventure side of the film follows Ferdinand being able to adapt to new locations as he looks to find a way to make sure he can rescue the animals and free himself from a life he isn’t happy with, the comedy comes mostly from the supporting character, with a range of slapstick and breaking of stereotypes of the animals.
Settings – The film uses plenty of different setting throughout Spain, with the two different farm lives, the Madrid chase and one of the scariest in animated, the slaughterhouse.
Animation – The animation like most films now is beautiful, never putting anything wrong with the world we are taken into.
Final Thoughts – This is a dark animated movie for a younger audience, it has strong themes about picking your own path, but isn’t afraid to show the darker side of a bulls life.
Overall: Dark animated film.