FERDINAND, the bull charges into theatres just a few weeks after Pixar’s COCO. FERDINAND is no COCO but it makes its mark, based on the ever poplar book with more humour and laughs than COCO.
FERDINAND is a CGI animated feature based on the classic 1936 Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson book. The Lawson drawings have been translated to more than 60 languages including the 1938 Disney featurette. Ferdinand loves flowers not fighting but finds himself in a bull training camp, the Casa del Toros where he escapes to a farm and is brought up by little Nina (Lily Day) who loves her little bull. The little bull is not little forever, and grow into a huge monster of an animal, now also possessing the voice of towering John Cena.
The trouble (or fun, depending how one wants to look at it) starts when Ferdnand is prevented from going to the Festival of Flowers, which the flower loving bull cannot resists. Nina is forced to tell him to stay home though Ferdinand thinks she still wants him to go. Ferdinand ends up convincing himself (in many funny ways) that to go is the right thing to do. He gets stung a bee, roars in pain and scare the townsfolk leading to his capture. He is forced to go into fighting again, this tie against the famous bullfighter El Primero (Miguel Angel Silvestre).
Ferdinand plans his escape. His sidekick and assistant is a buck-tooth hyper talking goat called Lupe (Kate KcKinnon) together with three comical hedgehogs, appropriately named Uno, Dos and Cuartro (Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs ad Gabriel Iglesias).
The filmmakers cannot resist (I doubt no one can) but put Ferdinand the bull in a chain shop. Yes, an accident waiting to happen. In that scene, Ferdinand is hiding from his pursuers. To make it even funnier, there is an old woman with a feather duster dusting the china. And a bull with huge nostrils? Another accident to happen, for sure!
Blue Sky Company who makes FERDINAND all made the ICE AGE movies that are too cute for my liking and RIO. Th squirrel antics of ICE AGE looks similar to the cute bunny sequence in FERDINAND.
The film has many prized comedic set ups among them being the dance off,
(choreography by Carlos Saldanha) with the three horses (Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland). If not prancing around, they are out-talking everyone else with their Swedish accent right out of an IKEA commercial.
The film contains three original songs but nothing hispanic.
FERDINAND might face stiffer competition with the animated THE STAR, also about goofy animals with the birth of Christ than with COCO. FERDINAND does come up on top in terms of laughs.