Ferdinand — 3.5 Gavels 74% Rotten Tomatoes


Image result for ferdinand 2017 images

Image result for ferdinand 2017 images

Ferdinand is not nearly as complex, nor layered, as Coco, but is still a fine film.  It provides nice counter-programming to Star Wars, especially for those seven and under.  If you like color and flowers, this is your movie.  Ferdinand is a timeless tale, and the added characters give it humor.  And, it is not often that a movie gets applause at the end, but the youngsters during our showing were quite appreciative; it’s nice to hear instant feedback.

As a young calf, Ferdinand knows he is different, but it doesn’t bother him.  Those around him constantly remind Ferdinand that a bull’s lot is to fight.  After his father doesn’t return from the ring, Ferdinand escapes and finds pure bliss on a flower farm and in the arms of Nina.  After a misunderstanding at the Flower Festival, a fully grown Ferdinand is hauled off to be readied for the bull fight under the tutelage of a goat named Lupe.  Those bulls not selected for the ring are taken away for meat.  Ferdinand has to help himself, and his fellow bulls, but remain true to his pacifist temperament.

John Cena provides a perfect voice for Ferdinand, big and strong, yet very sensitive.  The scene stealer (make that voice stealer) is Kate McKinnon doing her best Ellen DeGeneres impression as Lupe.  Bobby Cannavale as Valiente, Anthony Anderson as Bones, and  Peyton Manning as Guapo, all fellow bulls, are nearly as good.  The kids will love the hedgehogs, Una, Dos, and Cuatro, voiced by Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, and Gabriel Iglesias.

A word of caution to the parents of young children are the scenes that take place at a slaughterhouse.
Presumably your children know that animals are being killed to provide meat for humans to eat; if not, you might want to figure out how to discuss this with them. While there is no blood nor gore depicted, it is obvious that those bulls are not long for this world.  Likewise, some parents may not like the idea of a bull being killed in the ring.  Once again, there are no scenes with bulls actually being stabbed, but the the idea is depicted, including bull horns on the wall of the matador, akin to deer antlers.  None of the foregoing seemed to bother the young kids in the theater I attended,  but the movie does have a PG rating.  Overall, the movie is advertised as a bull with a big heart and I think it fills that roll nicely.

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