Ferdinand is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film was based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s 1936 children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, written by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland and directed by Carlos Saldanha. The film features features an ensemble voice cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning, Anthony Anderson, David Tennant, Tim Nordquist, Lily Day, Juanes, Jerrod Carmichael, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Raúl Esparza, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Flula Borg, Boris Kodjoe, and Sally Phillips. The story, written by Ron Burch, David Kidd and Don Rhymer, follows a gentle pacifist bull named Ferdinand who refuses to participate in bullfighting but is forced back into the arena where his beliefs are challenged by being faced off against the world’s greatest bullfighter.
Ferdinand premiered on December 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, and was theatrically released in the United States on December 15, 2017 in 3D and 2D formats. It grossed $296 million worldwide against a production budget of $111 million. Ferdinand received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards (losing against Coco) while also receiving nominations for Best Animated Feature Film (also lost against Coco) and Best Original Song (“Home”) at the 75th Golden Globe Awards (losing against This Is Me).
It was the last 20th Century Fox animated film to be released before the Disney acquisition, as well as the last Blue Sky Studios film to be released before the Disney acquisition.
In Spain, a friendly, non-violent, flower-loving young calf named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) lives on Casa del Toro, a ranch that raises and trains bulls for bullfighting. He is ridiculed by Bones (Nile Diaz), Guapo (Jet Jurgensmeyer), and Valiente (Jack Gore) due to his pacifism and interest in flowers. Not willing to be raised as a violent bull that will one day be forced to fight against matadors in the bull ring, Ferdinand runs away from Casa del Toro after his father Raf (Jeremy Sisto) fails to return from a bullfight and his favorite flower is squished by Valiente and his father (Bobby Cannavale). He arrives at a peaceful farm run by a florist named Juan (Juanes) and bonds with his daughter Nina (Julia Scarpa Saldanha), much to his dog Paco’s (Jerrod Carmichael) jealousy. Ferdinand lives happily on Juan’s farm, where he spends every day smelling the flowers and relaxing in the shade until he grows up into an enormous bull. One day when Ferdinand (John Cena) is all grown up, Ferdinand is left alone when Juan, Nina (Lily Day) and Paco go to Ronda for an annual flower festival. Ferdinand follows anyway, but is stung by a bee on the butt and unintentionally causes chaos around town. Believed to be an aggressive, violent, short-tempered bull, Ferdinand taken back to Casa del Toro, saddening Nina.
Ferdinand reunites with his childhood bullies, Bones (Anthony Anderson), Guapo (Peyton Manning), and Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) and discovers that they’re all grown up and are joined by two new bulls named Angus (David Tennant) and Maquina (Tim Nordquist). Still ridiculed by Bones, Guapo, and Valiente, Ferdinand befriends Lupe (Kate McKinnon), a goat who wants to coach him in bullfighting. Legendary bullfighter El Primero (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) arrives to choose the biggest, strongest, most aggressive bull to fight before he retires. Failing to impress the matador, the bulls turn on Ferdinand for making them look bad and blocking the entrance to the ring. Guapo is taken to a slaughterhouse, which Valiente and Bones tell Ferdinand will be their fate if they are not chosen for a bullfight. Ferdinand earns the bulls’ respect except Valiente after a dance-off with German horses (Hans Flula Borg, Klaus Boris Kodjoe, and Greta Sally Phillips), but they still believe fighting is their only way to survive. Ferdinand convinces Lupe to escape with him to Nina’s farm, aided by a trio of hedgehogs named Una (Gina Rodriguez), Dos (Daveed Diggs), and Cuatro (Gabriel Iglesias). Close to freedom, Ferdinand sees his father’s horns mounted on a wall with dozens of others, and realizes that every bull chosen to fight is slain by the matador.
Ferdinand warns the other bulls, but Valiente is unconvinced and charges him outside. Primero witnesses Valiente making Ferdinand inadvertently defeat him by breaking off his horn, and chooses Ferdinand to fight. When Valiente is taken to the slaughterhouse, Ferdinand rallies the remaining bulls to escape, and goes to the slaughterhouse to rescue him. They discover Guapo is still alive, and Ferdinand questions Valiente’s courage after he refuses to help rescue him. Ferdinand’s tail accidentally activates a series of deadly contraptions, but escapes with Valiente’s help. The bulls, hedgehogs and Lupe steal Casa del Toro’s truck, and escape the ranch’s owner, Moreno (Raúl Esparza), and his employees. The animals arrive at Atocha train station in Madrid. When the bulls push a small railroad cart to catch the train back to Nina’s home, Ferdinand sacrifices himself so the others can escape. Lupe stays behind as Ferdinand is captured. News of the runaway bulls causing chaos around town, Ferdinand’s upcoming fight with Primero reaches Nina, and she and Juan set out to rescue the bull.
At Las Ventas arena, Lupe urges Ferdinand to fight in order to survive, but Ferdinand is silently unsure. Released into the ring, he gives a weak performance and accidentally sends El Primero flying into the bull pen. Primero attacks Ferdinand with banderillas, scratching him in the shoulder. Ferdinand almost retaliates, but sees a carnation crushed under his hoof; unwilling to resort to violence, he lets Primero live. Ferdinand resigns himself to being slain by the matador, but the crowd cries out for him to live. Primero spares Ferdinand and leaves with dignity, and Ferdinand is reunited with Nina, as the crowd throws carnations into the ring to praise the bull. Ferdinand returns home with Nina, Juan and Paco, joined by Lupe, the three hedgehogs, and the rest of the bulls, as well as a bunny that Ferdinand almost crushed during the second day of training.
In a mid credits scene, Una, Dos and Cuatro are reunited with Tres, much to their dismay.
John Cena as Ferdinand the Bull, a huge flower-loving bull who does not want to fight.
Colin H. Murphy voices a calf Ferdinand.
Kate McKinnon as Lupe, an old goat and Ferdinand’s mentor.
Bobby Cannavale as Valiente, an arrogant and aggressive bull who bullies Ferdinand due to his flower-loving personality and reluctance to fight.
Jack Gore voices a calf Valiente.
Cannavale also voices Valiente’s father. A ferocious and cruel bull who hates his son Valiente, Ferdinand, Guapo, Bones, and their fathers and has a grumpy attitude causing Valiente to bully Guapo and Bones, and causing them to bully Ferdinand.
Peyton Manning as Guapo, a nervous bull who has stage fright and hates Ferdinand due to his personality.
Jet Jurgensmeyer voices a calf Guapo
Anthony Anderson as Bones, a skinny scrawny and enthusiastic bull who can move at amazing speed and called Ferdinand a weirdo when he was young and he rejects to help him up after Valiente pushes him due to his flower loving and pacifism personality.
Nile Diaz voices a calf Bones
David Tennant as Angus, a Scottish Highland bull from Scotland who had hair over his eyes until Ferdinand licked it.
Tim Nordquist as Maquina, a cloned Belted Galloway bull made in a laboratory who doesn’t talk and mostly makes sounds.
Lily Day as Nina, the original owner of Ferdinand and Paco. In the end, she becomes the new owner of Lupe.
Julia Scarpa Saldanha voices a young Nina.
Juanes as Juan, the father of Nina.
Jerrod Carmichael as Paco, a dog owned by Nina and Juan
Miguel Ángel Silvestre as El Primero, a matador
Raúl Esparza as Moreno, the owner of Casa del Toro and Primero’s lead henchman.
Gina Rodriguez as Una, a hedgehog who is Dos and Cuatro’s sister.
Daveed Diggs as Dos, a hedgehog, Una and Cuatro’s brother
Gabriel Iglesias as Cuatro, a hedgehog, Una and Dos’ brother
Flula Borg as Hans, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.
Boris Kodjoe as Klaus, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.
Sally Phillips as Greta, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.
Jeremy Sisto as Raf, Ferdinand’s father who died in the bullfights.
Cindy Slattery as Bunny, a red rabbit.
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