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Ferdinand is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios, Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Animation. The film was based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson's 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 the voices of John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning, Gina Rodriguez, Miguel Ángel Silvestre and David Tennant. 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 (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Carlos Saldanha
Produced by
  • John Davis
  • Lisa Marie Stetler
  • Lori Forte
  • Bruce Anderson
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
Robert Lawson
Music by John Powell
Cinematography Renato Falcão
Edited by Harry Hitner
Distributed by 20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • December 10, 2017 (2017-12-10) (Los Angeles)
  • December 15, 2017 (2017-12-15) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes[2]
Country United States[3]
Language English
Budget $111 million[4]
Box office $282.1 million[4]

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 by 20th Century Fox. It has grossed over $282 million worldwide against a production budget of $111 million.[5][6] The film received generally positive reviews from critics who particularly praised John Cena's vocal performance. Ferdinand received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards while also receiving nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song ("Home") at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.[7]



In Spain, a ranch owned by Moreno (Raúl Esparza) that trains bulls for bullfighting called Casa del Toro harbours a bull calf named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy). He is ridiculed by his fellow calves Bones (Nile Diaz), Guapo (Jet Jurgensmeyer), and Valiente (Jack Gore) for being non-confrontational and his tendency to smell and protect flowers. A saddened Ferdinand runs away from Casa del Toro after his father Raf (Jeremy Sisto) fails to return from a bullfight he was picked for and a flower he was fond of was smashed. He eventually winds up at a florist's farm, and is adopted by the owner Juan (Juanes), his dog Paco (Jerrod Carmichael), and his daughter Nina (Lily Day) with whom he shares a bond.

When Ferdinand (John Cena) eventually grows up into an enormous bull, he still retains his non-violent, flower-loving nature. Due to his size, he is left behind when Juan, Nina, and Paco go to Ronda for an annual flower festival. Ferdinand decides to go anyway, resulting in him getting stung by a bee and unintentionally wreaking havoc around town and is taken away back to Casa Del Toro, much to his and Nina’s sadness.

Once back there, he finds that Bones (Anthony Anderson), Guapo (Peyton Manning), and Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) have also grown up and have been joined by a Scottish bull named Angus (David Tennant) and a silent but intimidating bull named Maquina (Tim Nordquist). Ferdinand is still disrespected by the bulls, but manages to befriend a crazy goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon) who wants to be his coach in bullfighting despite his lack of interest and three hedgehogs named Una (Gina Rodriguez), Dos (Daveed Diggs), and Cuatro (Gabriel Iglesias) who frequently invade Casa del Toro to steal food. They used to have another brother named Tres, but they claimed him to be dead.

One day, a legendary but egotistical bullfighter named El Primero (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) arrives at Casa del Toro to choose the biggest, strongest, and most aggressive bull to fight with before he retires. When the bulls fail to impress him on the first try, Guapo is suddenly taken to a nearby slaughterhouse (The Chop House by the bulls) and the other bulls tell Ferdinand that it will eventually be their fate if they are not chosen for a bullfight. Although Ferdinand manages to earn the respect of the other bulls, except Valiente, after a dance-off with three German horses, they still hold on to the belief that fighting is the only way for them to live. Ferdinand manages to convince Lupe to come back with him to Nina's farm and the hedgehogs help them escape, but when Ferdinand is close to freedom, he sees his dad's picture on a wall with his horns mounted, along with dozens of other horns, making him realize that every bull who is chosen to fight, will be slain by the matador.

Ferdinand tells the other bulls about how they will all eventually be killed even if they're chosen to fight, but Valiente is the only one unconvinced and charges Ferdinand outside where Ferdinand inadvertently beats him in a fight and knocks off his right horn. Primero witnesses the scuffle, and chooses Ferdinand to fight after seeing him defeat Valiente. When Valiente is taken to the slaughterhouse, Ferdinand rallies up the remaining bulls to escape but first goes to the slaughterhouse to break out Valiente. He at first refuses as he believes that the slaughterhouse is his fate now, but they discover that Guapo is still alive, and Ferdinand questions Valiente's courage after Valiente refuses to help him rescue Guapo. When Ferdinand tries to save Guapo, he accidentally activates a series of deadly contraptions, but with the help of a now-friendlier Valiente, they escape the slaughterhouse and the bulls, Lupe, the hedgehogs and a red bunny rabbit steal the training area's company truck to escape, resulting the owner of Casa del Toro, Moreno and his employees to chase them after Primero threatens to fight Moreno in the ring.

The animals try desperately to lose the humans and wind up at Atocha train station in Madrid that Ferdinand sees as his ticket back to Nina. When the bulls push a small railroad cart to catch the train back to Nina's home, Ferdinand sacrifices himself so the other bulls can escape (except for Lupe, who stays behind in shock after Ferdinand's act) and is captured by Moreno and his employees. When news of Ferdinand's upcoming fight with El Primero makes its way to Nina's home, she, Juan and Paco set out to Madrid to find and retrieve Ferdinand.

At Las Ventas bullfight arena, Lupe tries to urge Ferdinand that he must fight in order to survive, but Ferdinand is silently unsure. When Ferdinand is released into the bullfight ring, he gives out a weak performance with his peaceful nature and accidentally causes El Primero to fly into the bull pen. Primero angrily tries to attack Ferdinand with two banderillas and in the process, strikes Ferdinand in the shoulder, who almost retaliates against the matador, but sees a carnation underneath his hoof and sees that he's being the fighter he was unwilling to be and lets El Primero live. Regardless, Primero tries to slay him to finish the fight. Upon seeing Ferdinand resigning himself to it, the crowd cries out for Ferdinand to live. Primero submits to the petition by sparing Ferdinand and leaves with dignity. Ferdinand is reunited with Nina, who embraces him and everyone throws carnations to the ring to praise the bull. The other bulls arrive, thinking they’re too late to save Ferdinand, but instead witness Ferdinand making history as the first bull to ever make it out of a bullfight alive by being himself.

In the end, Ferdinand returns home with Nina, Juan, and Paco. They are joined by the other bulls, the hedgehogs, the bunny, and Lupe, who all move into the farm. The film ends with Ferdinand, his bull friends, and Lupe watching the sunset over Ronda from a field of flowers.

In a brief mid-credits scene, the hedgehogs are confronted by Tres who is revealed to have been alive the whole time, which shocks the other hedgehogs and Cuatro faints in response while Una and Dos cross themselves.



In 2011, it was reported that 20th Century Fox Animation had acquired the rights to the children's book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf to adapt it into a computer-animated feature film with Carlos Saldanha attached to direct it.[14] In May 2013, Fox titled the film simply Ferdinand, which would be produced by Blue Sky Studios.[15] John Powell, a frequent collaborator with Saldanha, would be composing the film's score.[16] In November 2016, it was reported that Gabriel Iglesias would voice a character named Cuatro, a hedgehog, Una and Dos' brother.[12]


Ferdinand (Music from the Motion Picture)
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released December 1, 2017 (2017-12-01)
Genre Pop, Latin pop
Label Island Records
Producer John Powell

On September 19, 2017 it was announced that singer Nick Jonas wrote and recorded a song called "Home" for the movie. It was featured in the third trailer released in the next day and will also appear in the movie and end credits.[17] It was released as the first promotional single of the soundtrack on October 20, 2017.[18] A Second song by Nick Jonas named "Watch Me" was released alongside the film's EP on December 1.[19]

Track listingEdit

The soundtrack features three original tracks: "Home" and "Watch Me" by Nick Jonas, and "Lay Your Head On Me" by Juanes.[19][20]

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "Home" Nick Jonas 3:00
2. "Lay Your Head On Me" Juanes 3:16
3. "Watch Me" Jonas 2:26
4. "Freedom" Pitbull 2:54
5. "Macarena" Los del Rio 4:09
6. "Home (Film Version)" Jonas 2:48
Total length: 18:55

Original Motion Picture Score is composed by John Powell, additional music by Batu Sener, Anthony Willis and Paul Mounsey. The album was released on December 15, 2017.

Most of Albert Hay Malotte's score from Walt Disney's Ferdinand The Bull (1938) were included and recomposed by John Powell, who also created an additional original theme music for the 2017 film.


In May 2013, Fox scheduled the film for April 7, 2017 release.[15] In February 2016, the release date was pushed back from its original release date of April 7, 2017 to July 21, 2017.[21] In August 2016, the release date was again pushed back, this time from July 21, 2017 to December 22, 2017, taking over the release date of DreamWorks Animation's The Croods 2,[22] before that film was temporarily cancelled.[23] In February 2017, the film was moved up by one week from December 22, 2017 to December 15, 2017.[5] The first trailer premiered on March 28, 2017,[24] followed by the second trailer on June 14, 2017.[25]

Box officeEdit

As of February 15, 2018, Ferdinand has grossed $82.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $200.1 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $282.1 million, against a production budget of $111 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, Ferdinand was released alongside Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and was projected to gross $15–20 million from 3,621 theaters in its opening weekend.[26] It made $350,000 from Thursday night previews at 2,385 theaters, which began at 5 P.M. and $3.6 million on its first day. It went on to open to $13.3 million, finishing second behind The Last Jedi.[27]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 100 reviews and an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ferdinand's colorful update on a classic tale doesn't go anywhere unexpected, but its timeless themes – and John Cena's engaging voice work in the title role – make for family-friendly fun."[28] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[29] Audience polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[27]

Spanish bullfighting critic of El País, Antonio Lorca, in a critique of the film said that the film's message is "profoundly unnatural", and that the "renunciation" of the lead character to its "animal nature" is a lie that manipulates children, who will become "tomorrow's anti-bullfighters".[30] El commented on this article by Lorca, saying that it had been widely commented on social networks and that the anti-bullfighting narrative of the film "raised hackles" for its message against animal abuse, which can also be interpreted as "fight against school bullying" and "implicit defense of sexual and gender diversity".[31]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards March 4, 2018 Best Animated Feature Carlos Saldanha Pending
Annie Awards February 3, 2018 Design in an Animated Feature Production Thomas Cardone
Arden Chan
Andrew Hickson
Mike Lee
Jason Sadler
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Harry Hitner
Tim Nordquist
Golden Globe Awards January 7, 2018 Best Animated Feature Film Carlos Saldanha Nominated [32]
Best Original Song "Home" Nominated
Cinema Audio Society Awards February 24th 2018 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated Bill Higley, Randy Thom, Lora Hirschberg, Leff Lefferts, Shawn Murphy and Scott Curtis Pending [33]
Guild of Music Supervisors Awards February 8, 2018 Best Song/Recording Created for a Film "Home" Pending [34]
Humanitas Prize February 16, 2018 Feature – Family Ron Burch & David Kidd, Don Rhymer, Robert L. Baird and Tim Federle and Brad Copeland Pending [35]
Producers Guild of America Awards January 20, 2018 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture Lori Forte and Bruce Anderson Nominated [36]
Visual Effects Society Awards February 13, 2018 Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Yaron Canetti, Allan Kadkoy, Danny Speck, Mark Adams Nominated [37]

Home mediaEdit

Ferdinand will be released on Digital on February 27, 2018, while later being released on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 13, 2018.


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  5. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 9, 2017). "Blue Sky's Bull Toon 'Ferdinand' To Lock Horns With 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'". Deadline. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
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  10. ^ "Like a bull in a china shop the debut trailer for Ferdinand barges in - HeyUGuys". Retrieved 2017-11-04. 
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  12. ^ a b Busch, Anita (November 17, 2016). "Gabriel Iglesias Joins 'Ferdinand' & 'Smurfs' Voice Casts As He Readies Comedy Tour". Deadline. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  13. ^ Diggs, Daveed (March 28, 2017). "Excited for y'all to meet #Dos in the new @ferdinandmovie he's a real good dude. #Ferdinand #HedgehogsRepresent". Twitter. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
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  15. ^ a b Chitwood, Adam (May 16, 2013). "DreamWorks Animation Moves B.O.O. Release Up to June 5, 2015 and TROLLS to November 4, 2016; Fox Dates ANUBIS and FERDINAND". Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  16. ^ "John Powell to Score Blue Sky Studios' 'Ferdinand'". Film Music Reporter. September 14, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  17. ^ "First Look! Peyton Manning and Nick Jonas Lend Their Voices to Ferdinand (and Feel Pretty Bullish About It)". 2017-09-19. Retrieved 2017-11-11. 
  18. ^ "Home (From the Motion Picture "Ferdinand") - Single by Nick Jonas on Apple Music". Retrieved 2017-11-11. 
  19. ^ a b "'Ferdinand' Soundtrack EP Details - Film Music Reporter". Retrieved 17 December 2017. 
  20. ^ ""Watch Me" from Ferdinand (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP by Various Artists on iTunes". 1 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017. 
  21. ^ "Gambit, Alien, Predator and Fox / Marvel Release Updates". February 28, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  22. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 9, 2016). "'Croods 2' Release Delayed Amid DreamWorks Animation Sale". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  23. ^ Rainey, James (November 11, 2016). "DreamWorks Animation and Universal Kill 'Croods 2' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
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  25. ^ "OFFICIAL: New 'Ferdinand' Trailer Tomorrow | TrailerTrack". TrailerTrack. 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-11-11. 
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  27. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 17, 2017). "'The Last Jedi' Opening To $219M: How Disney Continues To Win With The 'Star Wars' Franchise". Retrieved December 17, 2017. 
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  31. ^ "El crítico taurino de 'El País' embiste contra la película 'Ferdinand' porque el toro no muere en la plaza: "Es antinatural"". (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 January 2017. 
  32. ^ Lisa Respers France. "Golden Globe nominations 2018: The list". Retrieved 17 December 2017. 
  33. ^ "54th CAS Awards Nominees". Cinema Audio Society. January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  34. ^ "Sufjan Stevens, 'Greatest Showman,' 'Girls' Among Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Nominees". Variety. January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 
  35. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 9, 2018). "Humanitas Prize Finalists Announced; Feature Awards Split Into 3 Categories". Retrieved January 9, 2018. 
  36. ^ Dave McNary (January 5, 2018). "Producers Guild Awards: 'Get Out,' 'Wonder Woman' Among Film Nominees". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2018. 
  37. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 16, 2018). "Visual Effects Society Awards: 'Apes,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Lead Feature Nominees". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2018. 

External linksEdit