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Ferdinand  : Bullishly Delightful
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Friday, December 15, 2017
Animation Film
Carlos Saldanha
Jack Gore. Young Valiente (voice). Jet Jurgensmeyer. Young Guapo (voice). Nile Diaz. Young Bones (voice). Colin H. Murphy. Young Ferdinand (voice). Carlos Saldanha. Screaming Matador / Additional Voices (voice). Jeremy Sisto. Ferdinand's Father (voi

The raging bull who gores and the matador who fights him to the finish has been a popular spectator sport for long. Director Carlos Saldanha along with half-a-dozen writers makes a light 95-minute film that looks at it from the bulls’ point of view. 


The young bulls at Casa Del Toro have been weaned on the belief that bulls were born to fight or they go to the chop house to be slaughtered. And so there’s a whole bunch of them who keep locking horns like schoolboys high on testosterone. While young Valiente and the rest bully one another as bulls-in-training are wont to do, their fathers fight to be picked by celebrity matadors for a bout in the ring. Except little Ferdinand who’d rather smell the flowers even as he watches his father proudly go off to face the matador. Never to return of course.


After a successful escape, Ferdinand stumbles into the life that best suits him. On a farm with loving little girl Nina, her good-natured father and dog Paco whose wagging tail betrays how he really feels.And flowers all around.There’s a marvellous little ‘bull in a china shop’ sequence with Ferdinand trying to tiptoe around and not break anything. He has grown into a gentle giant but most of the world sees him as huge and scary.


Soon it’s back to Casa Del Toro for him where El Primero the snooty matador arrives to pick the best fighting bull for his next game. It’s up to Ferdinand to make the bulls realise that there isn’t much difference between the chop house and the ring – they don’t return alive from either.


With John Cena voicing Ferdinand and Kate McKinnon dubbing for Lupe the goat, the animation is super skilled and humanises the bulls with sighs and highs. Thesparkling screenplay includes a dance-off between horses and bulls, and fun dialogues that call someone a ‘size-ist’. It’s ultimately a wonderful way to sensitise children to animals and raise a voice against cruelty to them.


For a fresh, fun family film that entertains and educates, Ferdinand gets a 3.5* rating. 


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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