Ferdinand – Surpassed our Expectations! Definitely Worth Sharing This Holiday Season!

Ferdinand is a young bull who escapes from a training camp in rural Spain after his father never returns from a showdown with a matador. Adopted by a girl who lives on a farm, Ferdinand’s peaceful existence comes crashing down when the authorities return him to his former captors. With help from a wisecracking goat and three hedgehogs, the giant but gentle bovine must find a way to break free before he squares off against El Primero, the famous bullfighter who never loses. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Calista B. comments, “This movie has a good amount of star power with John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Daveed Diggs and more. The voice acting is probably one of the best things about this movie. Everyone sounds like they’re having so much fun and that they clearly love their roles.” Sahiba K. adds, “Ferdinand’s compassion is contagious and, with his big innocent eyes and smile, he brightened my day. The animation is visually appealing and adds happiness and joyfulness to every aspect of this film.” See their full reviews and Calista’s interviews below.

Ferdinand
By Calista B., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 14

I have to say, I really enjoyed this movie. It is definitely much better than I originally thought. I assumed it would be a bit bland, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This is the story about a bull named Ferdinand who dislikes violence. He is taken in by a girl named Nina and her dad. Due to being at the wrong place at the wrong time, he is taken to a ranch where they plan to put him in a bull fight. He is determined to escape and find his way back home. This is an adaptation of an old picture book from 1936, which I think is pretty interesting.

First, let’s discuss the animation. I find the animation to be quite Disney-esque. It is fast, fluid and, best of all, colorful – just the way I like animation. The color scheme is very aesthetically pleasing. The flowers especially look amazing, as silly as that sounds. This movie has a good amount of star power with John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant, Daveed Diggs and more. The voice acting is probably one of the best things about this movie. Everyone sounds like they’re having so much fun and that they clearly love their roles. That really helps every character feel so likeable. The voices of the horses are an excellent example. Their accents and mannerisms are hilarious.

Speaking of hilarious, this movie is actually really funny, a lot more funny than I originally expected. I assumed the humor would a bit like the general humor in most modern animated movies. Another thing I find interesting is that the movie is surprisingly kind of dark. Considering the whole story is about bullfighting, a few scenes are actually very serious. Certain scenes made me think to myself “this is a kids movie?!” I really didn’t expect that. Honestly, a lot of things surprised me, which I’m really happy about. Since I never want movies to be bad, I love it when a movie surpasses my expectations.

Finally, I love the cast of characters. Lupe the goat, the hedgehogs and the horses are my favorite characters, but every character has something about them that makes them so interesting. The other bulls are likeable characters and so is the bullfighter villain. Even smaller side characters really made this movie. I love the message this movie puts out: peace over violence. I give this 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18. It comes out December 15, 2017 so go check it out.

Ferdinand
By Sahiba K., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 15

Ferdinand, directed by Carlos Saldanha is a spoonful of sugar! Ferdinand’s compassion is contagious and, with his big innocent eyes and smile, he brightened my day. The animation is visually appealing and adds happiness and joyfulness to every aspect of this film. The music adds an exhilarating effect to the action scenes and made my heart pump faster and faster.

The story follows a timid, lovable bull named Ferdinand who loves flowers. He is born a fighter at a ranch, but has no desire to hurt anyone. He runs away and is taken in by a farmer and his daughter. Together, they grow up and through a series of events, Ferdinand is misunderstood and separated from his home and must do everything he can to return to his family.

John Cena plays Ferdinand and keeps a softness in his voice that reinforces Ferdinand’s serene aura. Kate McKinnon plays Lupe, a hilarious, exuberant goat. The way she manipulates her voice made me laugh. The antagonist, Valiente, voiced by Bobby Cannavale, has an animosity against Ferdinand that is clear and terrifying.

The animation is sublime and gorgeous. There are many scenes where Ferdinand is sitting on his favorite hill, gazing into the distance. The landscape is intricately detailed. You can see the cracks on the cliffs and shadows with the pinkish orange sunset with the trees, flowers and grass swaying with the wind. These scenes transcend words and made me feel the peace and serenity that Ferdinand experiences. Ferdinand’s expressions are priceless, revealing his feelings exquisitely. His ears flap when he is excited and his smile is enormous. The animation is excellent throughout.

My favorite part is Ferdinand’s personality. Ferdinand would never hurt a fly and loves everyone and everything. He always does what is right and, no matter how anyone treats him, he considers everyone his friend.

The message of Ferdinand is don’t be afraid of who you are and let your true self shine. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 15. Ferdinand opens in theaters nationwide December 15, 2017 so be sure to put it on your holiday viewing list.

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