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Columns : Screen Scene Last Updated: Dec 29, 2017 - 9:05:05 AM

Ferdinand - Movie review by Rouén Robinson
By Rouén Robinson
Dec 26, 2017 - 8:25:54 AM

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An animated film with a message that sometimes gets lost in the cartoon silliness

Built to fight. Born to love.

After being mistaken for a ferocious animal, a kindhearted bull is torn from his home and placed in a bullfight training facility. In a race against time he must rally a team of misfit animals to escape the facility and return to his family before a legendary bullfighter chooses him for his final performance.

Ferdinand is a bull who wishes to stay with his adopted family, but after being brought to Casa del Toro and forced to compete for a bullfight he forms a plan to escape with new friends. Lupe is a goat who wants to train Ferdinand to be a famous bullfighting bull, but soon comes around to his way of thinking when she sees what happens to the bulls who are not chosen. Uno, Dos & Cuatro are all hedgehogs at Casa del Toro who scavenge the discarded knickknacks around the area and join in to help Ferdinand escape his captivity. El Primero is a legendary matador who has come to Casa del Toro to choose the bull he plans on using in his farewell bullfight that will cement his status as the greatest modern Toureiro.

Ferdinand is an animated feature with a strong message that quickly gets watered down by the trappings of a children’s movie. The more interesting elements of the story seem to get thrown by the wayside in favor of lesser plot points that still work with the story but take it in a direction that keeps it from being outstanding. John Cena does a surprisingly good job as the voice of the eponymous bull with the rest of the voice cast supporting him in a way that made it an okay auditory experience. Carlos Saldanha directs this animated movie in such a way that it feels like there is a deeper story to be told between the scenes we get to see. As an adaptation this take on The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf is more kid friendly but misses the mark as it shies away from more mature issues surrounding the subject matter. This entry in the Blue Sky Studios collection of animated films is not a memorable one when compared to others, but is an adequate effort. I rate this movie a rating of 3 out of 5.

There is a scene during the credits that gives some closure to a mystery involving the hedgehogs which could lead to future narratives.

In Theaters


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