We live in world where you are often judged on how you look and not by who you are on the inside. If you are an over seven feet you must play basketball, or if you are super attractive you must not be very smart. It is because of these assumptions that when we find out that we don’t fit the model of who we think we are, that we find ourselves surprised and sometimes ashamed that in the simplest terms, judge a book by its cover. Ferdinand takes this idea and runs with it, because if you are a bull you have to be all about being the beast you are supposed to be.
Ferdinand (John Cena) is not your ordinary bull and he knew that from a young age. While all the other bulls were playing bull games and dreamed about the day they would defeat a matador, Ferdinand spent his days nursing a flower. When he loses his father, Ferdinand runs away and finds a little girl who sees him for what he is and lets him be himself as he grows up. The problem with a bull growing up is he gets bigger and when he tries to attend a festival in town, he is mistaken for a wild beast and is sent back to the place he escaped as a calf. Once there he faces his old friends but also makes some new ones’ lead by a “calming” goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon). While Lupe gets Ferdinand the leader of the bulls Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) just sees him as someone who runs away. Ferdinand then tries to get back to the only home that accepts him for who he really is.
It can be quite a difficult feat to make an animated film today that centers around animals and it not be cute and often funny. Good news is “Ferdinand” doesn’t mess that streak up as you will laugh at jokes like a horse falling down and him screaming “I have fallen down and can’t giddy up.” There is more gold in them hills as it seems the creators of “Ferdinand” took all the good plays from your favorite Disney films. Not only did they do it with the story, they also do it with casting as Cena is the perfect guy to play someone who is judged on how he looks. While he and McKinnon do most of the heavy lifting, the rest of the cast, which includes Anthony Anderson, David Tennant, and Payton Manning do not disappoint in their smaller screen time.
There are great animated films out there, Ferdinand doesn’t quite get to that level, instead it hovers on the good level and a film that there is a possibility that you might forget about in a few years. I don’t want that to be taken as negative as my point really is there are so many good animated films like this one it will just get lost in the shuffle of the things that are still coming. With that said sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns and I will say I enjoyed “Ferdinand” and while it might not be my favorite, there is a good chance it will becomes someone’s and that is no bull—.