Out Now On-Demand

Built to fight. Born to love.

Animated comedy from BlueSky Studios (Rio, Ice Age) based on the kid's book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf - the story of a bull (voiced by John Cena) who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights.

As Ferdinand grows big and strong, his temperament remains mellow, but one day five men come to choose the "biggest, fastest, roughest bull" for the bullfights in Madrid and Ferdinand is mistakenly chosen.

This story has been previously adapted by Walt Disney (Ferdinand the Bull, 1938). It won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).



Directed by

Written by


BlueSky Studios

Animated, Kids & Family


Rating: G


Munro Leaf’s 1936 pacifist parable picture book The Story of Ferdinand gets the animated movie makeover. The script expands the tale of the sensitive Spanish bull, but sticks to its pacifist themes, delivering a fun fable for modern family audiences.

Carlos Sandanha, the Brazilian-born director of two Ice Age movies, delivers the same visual vibrancy he brought to Rio. With an amusing array of slapstick sequences and supporting characters up its CGI sleeve, Ferdinand boasts a vibrant voice-cast, with John Cena surprisingly fine as Ferdinand — the bull who, faced with a future as a meal or a matador’s opponent, refuses to fight. David Tennant is fun as Angus, but Kate McKinnon steals the show, delivering hyperactive comedic gold as Lupe the anything-but ‘calming’ goat. It’s odd that a movie set in Madrid doesn’t include much Spanish music, but Hispanic actors are represented voicing supporting characters, with Bobby Cannavale as Valiente, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, as famed matador, El Primero, and Gina Rodriguez and Gabriel Iglesias as hedgehogs Una and Cuatro.

Great for kids and with enough going on to keep adults engaged along the way, the strain of stretching a short kids’ story to 108 minutes occasionally shows, but Ferdinand is far from bull. The witty script, artful animation, vivid palette, exuberant voice-cast and slapstick scenes (including an uproariously literal take on the old bull-in-a-china-shop gag), make for a joyous retelling of a classic tale.

Sydney Morning Herald


None of the story is surprising but it has charm and humour, and lots of colour and movement for the tots.

Variety (USA)


[It] strains at times, but in what’s been an underwhelming year for big-studio animation, it’s the best of the bunch: sincere, likable, surprisingly funny, and overall true to its source material.

Hollywood Reporter


Manages to squeak by with enough charming set-pieces and amusing sight gags to compensate for a stalling storyline.

Associated Press


It's often dark, sometimes whacky, but true to the heart of the book and beautifully brought to life in modern Spain.

New York Times


The movie is bright and peppy enough to hold young viewers' attention, though a faithful 1938 Walt Disney short showed more inventiveness in eight minutes.

The Guardian (UK)


Nothing mould-breaking, but unassumingly enjoyable.

Huffington Post


McKinnon's goat character is in constant and hilarious conversation with her many selves but the awkward handling of the slaughterhouse issue will upset some kids.

The Times (UK)


... a movie of both substance and silliness. Olés all round.