Ferdinand: Film Review

It’s not that I don’t like Blue Sky Studios, but I can’t help myself by being disappointed with some of the animated movies that have released. There wasn’t anything that could make Ferdinand, based on the classic 1936 children’s book by Munro Leaf, the least bit entertaining at the end of the year. And it just proves that 2017 is the weakest year for the animation slate if you asked me.

What’s the Story?: Ferdinand (voiced by John Cena) is a young, lovable bull who escapes from a training camp as a young calf and is soon adopted by a young girl on a farm. After being mistaken for a wild beast, he’s then set back to the ranch he escaped from when doesn’t want to be chosen to compete in bullfighting.

Gabriel Iglesias, Kate McKinnon, John Cena, Juanes, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, and Lily Day in Ferdinand (2017)
Fox has been developing the story of Ferdinand since 2011 and now those dreams can finally come true after all these years. Even before this came out, I didn’t even know Ferdinand the Bull was a well-known property not only as a book but an Oscar-winning animated Disney short from 1938. Though this really wasn’t anything that I was anticipated by the end of the year, it may seem to bring up some emotions while watching this. But this isn’t Coco, which came out weeks ago, as Carlo Sandaha’s Ferdinand just comes off as a decent family movie that won’t any impressions.

To spotlight the positive things about the film: the animation is beautiful to look at, as with most of Blue Sky movies. When they hired Cena to provide the main voice, it sounded off for some reason, but does a perfectly fine job voicing of the titular bull with a big heart bring a lot of charm in delivering his lines.

Aside from Ferdinand, all of the other animal characters were just annoying. For instance, Kate McKinnon voices Lupe, a crazy, old calming goat and Ferdinand’s trainer, and I don’t get annoyed with McKinnon, but Lupe got on my nerves. He’s not the only bull that there to be trained, his bull pals (Bobby Cannavale, Anthony Anderson, Peyton Manning, David Tennant and Tim Nordquist) that he doesn’t get along with are there, too, and befriends a trio of hedgehogs Uno, Dos and Cuartro (Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs and Gabriel Iglesias) on this adventure of a lifetime that’s bull-elievable (sorry).

John Cena in Ferdinand (2017)
And a lot of the humor wasn’t even all that funny when it consists of lame jokes that kids will easily laugh at. Did we really need a dance-off sequence with the bulls and the German horses? No. In that case, does every animated movie always have to have a dance-off? What a waste of time that turned out to be when the bull twerks. However, the one time I actually laughed was Maquina’s eye killed a fly with his eyelid opened.

It does have a meaningful message about being yourself with nobody what anybody tells you who to be and tries to be heartwarming when there’s a moment where the humor doesn’t come to play, but it just doesn’t have not many emotions. There isn’t a lot of heart when you thought the story was gonna be about Ferdinand and the girl he grew up with. That felt forgotten and not crucial since she wasn’t in the movie that much until the third act, The story does a poor job at feeling modern from its book, making the entire film unremarkable.

Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Gabriel Iglesias, Kate McKinnon, Tim Nordquist, David Tennant, John Cena, Peyton Manning, Cindy Slattery, Gina Rodriguez, and Daveed Diggs in Ferdinand (2017)
Besides the beautiful animation and solid voice performances from Cena and McKinnon, Ferdinand proved to be other animated comedy that doesn’t live up even with low expectations. It’s especially made for young kids that will have a good time watching this colorful movie with their parents when they don’t see a connection to what’s happening on screen.

Ferdinand is really made for children as it has a meaningful message, though there are no real laughs or depth found. Grade: C

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