ⓘ Ferdinand (film)


ⓘ Ferdinand (film)

Ferdinand is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film was based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawsons childrens book The Story of Ferdinand, written by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland and directed by Carlos Saldanha. The film features an ensemble voice cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning, Anthony Anderson, David Tennant, Tim Nordquist, Lily Day, Juanes, Jerrod Carmichael, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Raul Esparza, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Flula Borg, Boris Kodjoe, and Sally Phillips. The story, written by Ron Burch, David Kidd and Don Rhymer, follows a gentle pacifist bull named Ferdinand who refuses to participate in bullfighting but is forced back into the arena where his beliefs are challenged by being faced off against the worlds greatest bullfighter.

Ferdinand premiered on December 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 15, 2017 in 3D and 2D formats. It grossed $296 million worldwide against a production budget of $111 million. Ferdinand received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards losing against Coco while also receiving nominations for Best Animated Feature Film also lost against Coco and Best Original Song "Home" at the 75th Golden Globe Awards losing against This Is Me.


1. Plot

In Spain, Casa del Toro – a ranch that trains bulls for bullfighting – harbours a bull calf named Ferdinand. Ridiculed by his fellow calves named Bones, Guapo, and Valiente for being non-confrontational and his tendency to smell and protect flowers, Ferdinand runs away after his father Raf fails to return from a bullfight, and a flower he was fond of is squished by Valiente and his father after being defeated. Winding up at a florists farm, Ferdinand is adopted by the owner Juan and bonds with his daughter Nina, much to his dog Pacos jealousy.

Growing up into an enormous bull, Ferdinand retains his non-violent, flower-loving nature. Due to his size, he is left alone when Juan, Nina, and Paco go to Ronda for an annual flower festival. Ferdinand follows anyway, but is stung by a bee on the butt and unintentionally causes chaos around town. He is taken back to Casa del Toro, saddening Nina.

Ferdinand reunites with Bones, Guapo, and Valiente and joined by two new bulls Angus and Maquina. Still ridiculed by Bones, Guapo, and Valiente, Ferdinand befriends Lupe, a goat who wants to coach him in bullfighting, and a trio of hedgehogs named Una, Dos, and Cuatro.

Legendary bullfighter El Primero arrives to choose the biggest, strongest, most aggressive bull to fight before he retires. Failing to impress the matador, the bulls turn on Ferdinand for making them look bad and blocking the entrance to the ring. Guapo is taken to a slaughterhouse, which Valiente and Bones tell Ferdinand will be their fate if they are not chosen for a bullfight. Ferdinand earns the bulls’ respect except Valiente after a dance-off with German horses, but they still believe fighting is their only way to survive. Ferdinand convinces Lupe to escape with him to Ninas farm, aided by the hedgehogs. Close to freedom, Ferdinand sees his father’s horns mounted on a wall with dozens of others, and realizes that every bull chosen to fight is slain by the matador.

Ferdinand warns the other bulls, but Valiente is unconvinced and charges him outside. Primero witnesses Valiente making Ferdinand inadvertently defeat Valiente by ripping off his horn, and chooses Ferdinand to fight. When Valiente is taken to the slaughterhouse, Ferdinand rallies the remaining bulls to escape, and goes to the slaughterhouse to rescue Valiente. They discover Guapo is still alive, and Ferdinand questions Valientes courage after he refuses to help rescue him. Ferdinands tail accidentally activates a series of deadly contraptions, but escapes with Valiente’s help. The bulls, hedgehogs, Lupe, and a rabbit steal Casa del Toro’s truck, and escape the ranch’s owner, Moreno, and his employees.

The animals arrive at Atocha train station in Madrid. When the bulls push a small railroad cart to catch the train back to Ninas home, Ferdinand sacrifices himself so the others can escape. Lupe stays behind as Ferdinand is captured by Moreno and his employees. News of the runaway bulls causing chaos around town, Ferdinands upcoming fight with Primero reaches Nina, and she and Juan set out to rescue Ferdinand.

At Las Ventas arena, Lupe urges Ferdinand to fight in order to survive, but Ferdinand is silently unsure. Released into the ring, he gives a weak performance and accidentally sends El Primero flying into the bull pen. Primero attacks Ferdinand with banderillas, scratching him in the shoulder. Ferdinand almost retaliates, but sees a carnation under his hoof; unwilling to resort to violence, he lets El Primero live. Ferdinand resigns himself to being slain by the matador, but the crowd cries out for him to live. Primero spares Ferdinand and leaves with dignity, and Ferdinand is reunited with Nina, as the crowd throws carnations into the ring to praise the bull. The other animals arrive, thinking they are too late to save Ferdinand, but instead witness him making history as the first bull ever to leave a bullfight alive by being himself.

Ferdinand returns home with Nina, Juan, and Paco, joined by all the other animals. In a mid-credits scene, the hedgehogs discover their brother Tres is still alive, much to their dismay.


2. Cast

  • John Cena as Ferdinand the Bull, a huge flower-loving bull who does not want to fight.
  • Colin H. Murphy voices a calf Ferdinand.
  • Kate McKinnon as Lupe, an old goat and Ferdinands mentor.
  • Bobby Cannavale as Valiente, a bratty bull who bullies Ferdinand due to his flower-loving personality and reluctance to fight.
  • Cannavale also voices Valientes father. A bull who hates his son Valiente, Ferdinand, Guapo, Bones, and their fathers and has a grumpy attitude causing Valiente to bully Guapo and Bones, and causing them to bully Ferdinand.
  • Jack Gore voices a calf Valiente.
  • Jet Jurgensmeyer voices a calf Guapo
  • Peyton Manning as Guapo, a nervous bull who has stage fright and hates Ferdinand due to his personality.
  • Nile Diaz voices a calf Bones
  • Anthony Anderson as Bones, a skinny scrawny and enthusiastic bull who has super speed and calls Ferdinand a weirdo when he rejects to help him up after Valiente pushes him due to his flower loving and pacifism personality.
  • Tim Nordquist as Maquina, a cloned Belted Galloway bull made in a laboratory who doesnt talk and mostly makes sounds.
  • Julia Scarpa Saldanha voices a young Nina.
  • Lily Day as Nina, the original owner of Ferdinand and Paco. In the end, she becomes the new owner of Lupe.
  • David Tennant as Angus, a Scottish Highland bull from Scotland who had hair over his eyes until Ferdinand licked it.
  • Gina Rodriguez as Una, a hedgehog who is Dos and Cuatros sister.
  • Gabriel Iglesias as Cuatro, a hedgehog, Una and Dos brother
  • Sally Phillips as Greta, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.
  • Jerrod Carmichael as Paco, a dog owned by Nina and Juan
  • Raul Esparza as Moreno, the owner of Casa del Toro and Primeros lead henchman.
  • Flula Borg as Hans, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.
  • Juanes as Juan, the father of Nina.
  • Daveed Diggs as Dos, a hedgehog, Una and Cuatros brother
  • Miguel Angel Silvestre as El Primero, a matador
  • Cindy Slattery as Bunny, a red rabbit.
  • Jeremy Sisto as Raf, Ferdinands father who died in the bullfights.
  • Boris Kodjoe as Klaus, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.

3. Production

In 2011, it was reported that 20th Century Fox Animation had acquired the rights to the childrens book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf to adapt it into a computer-animated feature film with Carlos Saldanha attached to direct it. In May 2013, Fox titled the film simply Ferdinand, which would be produced by Blue Sky Studios. John Powell, a frequent collaborator with Saldanha, would be composing the films score. In November 2016, it was reported that Gabriel Iglesias would voice a character named Cuatro, a hedgehog, Una and Dos brother.


4. Soundtrack

On September 19, 2017, it was announced that singer Nick Jonas wrote and recorded a song called "Home" for the film. It was featured in the third trailer released the next day and also appears in the film and end credits. It was released as the first promotional single of the soundtrack on October 20, 2017. A second song by Jonas titled "Watch Me" was released alongside the films EP on December 1.

Track listing

The soundtrack features three original tracks: "Home" and "Watch Me" by Nick Jonas, and "Lay Your Head On Me" by Juanes.

Most of Albert Hay Malottes score from Walt Disneys Ferdinand the Bull 1938 was included and recomposed by John Powell, who also created additional original theme music for the 2017 film.


5. Release

In May 2013, Fox scheduled the film for April 7, 2017 release. In February 2016, the release date was pushed back from its original release date of April 7, 2017 to July 21, 2017. In August 2016, the release date was again pushed back, this time from July 21, 2017 to December 22, 2017, taking over the release date of DreamWorks Animations The Croods 2, before that film was temporarily cancelled. In February 2017, the film was moved up by one week from December 22, 2017 to December 15, 2017. The first trailer premiered on March 28, 2017, followed by the second trailer on June 14, 2017.

Home media

Ferdinand was released on Digital HD on February 27, 2018, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 13, 2018.


6.1. Reception Box office

Ferdinand has grossed $84.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $211.6 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $296 million, against a production budget of $111 million.

In the United States and Canada, Ferdinand was released alongside Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and was projected to gross $15–20 million from 3.621 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $350.000 from Thursday night previews at 2.385 theaters, which began at 5 P.M. and $3.6 million on its first day. It went on to open to $13.3 million, finishing second behind The Last Jedi.


6.2. Reception Critical response

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 119 reviews and an average rating of 6.24/10. The sites critical consensus reads, Ferdinand s colorful update on a classic tale doesnt go anywhere unexpected, but its timeless themes – and John Cenas engaging voice work in the title role – make for family-friendly fun." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audience polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.

Spanish bullfighting critic of El Pais, Antonio Lorca, in a critique of the film said that the films message is "profoundly unnatural", and that the "renunciation" of the lead character to its "animal nature" is a lie that manipulates children, who will become "tomorrows anti-bullfighters". El Diario.es commented on this article by Lorca, saying that it had been widely commented on social networks and that the anti-bullfighting narrative of the film "raised hackles" for its message against animal abuse, which can also be interpreted as "fight against school bullying" and "implicit defense of sexual and gender diversity". Susan Wloszczyna of Rogerebert.com gave the film a 3 out of 4 stars and said: "Enough of that kind of bull. What the world needs now is Ferdinand, sweet Ferdinand, a rare breed of bovine who takes a stand against aggression, competitive rivalry and conforming to the expectations of others." James Dyer of Empire Magazine gave the film a 3 out of 5 stars, saying: "Inoffensive fun, but unlike its paperback forbear, the cinematic Ferdinand is unlikely to stand the test of time." Simran Hans of The Guardian gave the film a 4 out of 5 stars and said: "A flower-sniffing bull goes on a journey of self-discovery in this fun adaptation of a 30s children’s book."

Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times gave the film a positive review, saying: "Unlike in the book, Ferdinand earns the arena’s cheers for not fighting, but the crowd’s sense of surprise will elude audiences attending Ferdinand." Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter also gave a positive review for the film, saying: "It’s no Coco, but Ferdinand, a CG-animated adaptation of the classic 1936 Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson book about a flower-loving bull who’d rather sniff than fight, manages to squeak by with enough charming set-pieces and amusing sight gags to compensate for a stalling storyline." Katie Welsh of Chicago Tribune gave the film a negative review of two stars, saying: "With a lovely voice performance from Cena, the spirit of Ferdinand does shine through. But the rest of the story filler is mostly forgettable." Tara Brady of The Irish Times also gave the film a 3 out of 5 stars, saying: Ferdinand may lack the all-out charm offensive of the studio’s 2015 Snoopy and Charlie Brown vehicle, but it’s not too far off in terms of quality and sweetness."