Capturing the hearts of many since he was first exposed in the 1936 book “The Story of Ferdinand” by Munro Leaf, the tale is a charming metaphor on how appearances can be deceptive. In short: never judge a book (or bull) by its cover. (Or horns!) The book’s overall message of love and acceptance has resonated for decades, and from what I hear, still does! Now, this holiday season, a flock of moviegoers of all ages can enjoy the delightful story in CG-animation. Inspired by the classic story, the tale of Ferdinand (a giant bull who prefers flowers over fighting) will gracefully “gore” in visual form.
Directed by Academy Award nominee Carlos Saldanha (the man behind the RIO series and many of the ICE AGE movies), FERDINAND centers on the adventures of an easy-going, peace-loving bull (voiced by John Cena), who is adopted by a loving farming family. All the peace-and-tranquility goes haywire when an incident leads to him being mistaken for a vicious beast and is taken away to the last place on earth he wants to be – a bull-fighting, training facility. With much determination to get back to his home and family, Ferdinand works up courage and charges obstacles of uneven footing, new friendships, and an overall appreciation for life as he sees fit.
Emotional, funny, honest, and charming for people of all ages! Personally, I thought the story was written well. Its animated characters and ambiance elevates it and tends to grab your attention from the start. Its depiction of animal livelihood allows for second guessing when simply labeling them as beasts with no feelings or soul or overall sense. What makes FERFINAND stand out as well is its uniqueness compared to other animated films from recent years. Yes, animal animation isn’t anything new. And while FERDINAND may not be reinventing the wheel or have its dips, what the film does have is a heart that beats the drum of love and acceptance. An emotion many struggle with today – AND it’s 2017!
FERDINAND generates fun in some way, shape, or fashion. And seeing as it’s opening for the holiday season, this is a warm, loving, and overall general family film that’ll resonate much like the book.
Grade: B+ | Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Kids/Family | Rated: PG | Run Time: 108 minute
Voice Talent: John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Bobby Cannavale
Directed by: Carlos Saldanha