Ferdinand (2017)

I saw the trailer for Ferdinand (too) many times and I wasn't particularly excited or interested in seeing it. Actually, I couldn't care less. But then someone thought it deserved an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Picture so I checked it out. Now I wonder whether those people have seen or not the movies they nominate, especially this year. Between The Boss Baby --which I enjoyed, but come on! An Oscar nomination?!-- and this, I'm speechless. 

In a ranch that trains bulls for bullfighting, Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy) is a sweet and gentle calf with a tendency to smell and protect flowers for which he is ridiculed by his fellow calves. When his father (Jeremy Sisto) is killed, he runs away. Juan (Juanes) and his daughter Nina (Lily Day) finds him and they bring him home. Needless to say, Ferdinand (John Cena) grows into a huge but harmless bull. Eventually, he's mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured, taken away from his family and brought back to the ranch.

The plot is very simple and predictable and it's nothing more than the typical misfit story most animated films have. It's very bland and slow in the first part and even in the second part, when the story finally gets going and it gets a little bit more exciting and entertaining, it feels like there's something missing here. 

The themes too are nothing new --it's once again the don't-kill-animals message, neither for sport nor for eating them-- and have been addressed in so much better ways in other movies, last year's Okja to mention one.

20th Century Fox
Then there are the character. While Ferdinand is very likeable and relatable and John Cena did a surprisingly good job voicing him, most of the others are forgettable, to say the least. That's not, of course, the case for Kate McKinnon's Lupe, a bizarre, silly, crazy goat that is the worst thing happened to this film. That damn animal is so annoying, irritating, you end up wishing they would bring her to the slaughterhouse.

That being said, Ferdinand has some ups as well. The animation is one of them. Though it does not reach Coco's levels, the animation is impressive, the characters look great and there are some pretty beautiful landscapes.

Also, the film is occasionally funny and somehow it manages to make you feel sad and happy throughout its running time. There is a pointless music number though and the song Macarena just doesn't belong in here.

Bottom line, this is not a movie that deserves an Oscar nomination.


  1. I have no interest in seeing this. Plus, I'm not fond of John Cena despite his hilarious performance in Tour de Pharmacy.

  2. My kid was begging to see this, then forgot about it thankfully. lol