Movie Review: Ferdinand (2017)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2017 animated movie starring John Cena and Lily Day.

Synopsis: After his father is killed by a matador, bull calf Ferdinand escapes the bullfighting ranch and finds safety when he is found and adopted by a florist's daughter. Even though he grows into an enormous bull, he still remains non-violent. However, after a misunderstanding at the annual flower festival, he is sent back to the bullfighting ranch. If he doesn't fight, he will be sent to the meat processor.

Who's In It?

The animated movie uses voices from John Cena, Lily Day, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale and Gina Rodriguez.


I added this movie to our Netflix list because my youngest daughter said she wanted to watch it. I, however, found I had some serious doubts about this movie and, because of that, I was kind of reluctant to watch it with her when we got the DVD.

However, we finally got around to watching this movie last night and, after seeing it, I have to admit it was better than I was expecting it to be.

One of my biggest concerns about this movie was the fact it was about bullfighting. Since it was such a brutal sport, I wasn't sure how the film would be able to accurately portray it while remaining child friendly. As it turns out, the writers did an excellent job of it. There was just enough of a hint of what happens in the bullfighting ring to keep the portrayal of the sport accurate but, overall, the film still managed to stay lighthearted to the point I wasn't afraid it would give my daughter nightmares.

And, I have to admit, I thought Ferdinand (Cena) was a likable character. His size and clumsiness provided plenty of comedy (I especially liked the bull in a China shop scene). He also had a hero-like personality that made it easy to respect him, he wasn't afraid to stand up for what he believed in and was willing to sacrifice himself to help others.

The end of the movie, with him being forced to fight the matador (Miguel Angel Silvestre), was a little predictable. But, there were some funny moments during that scene that still kept it entertaining.enough to watch. As a result, I can honestly say I enjoyed watching this movie from beginning to end.

Final Opinion

I wasn't sure about the content of the film. But, it turned out to be a family-friendly film with a good mix of comedy and action. I would recommend it as a result.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/25/2018, StevenHelmer
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