Voices by John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, Jeremy Sisto, Anthony Anderson, Peyton Manning, David Tennant, Gina Rodriguez
Directed by Carlos Saldanha
 / 106 Minutes / 20th Century Fox

Ferdinand is a pleasant surprise from the company that has recycled the Ice Age movies over and over again. It’s a sweet, heart-warming and funny animated film based on the 1936 children’s book The Story of Ferdinand. The story follows Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart and a love of flowers. When he is mistaken for a dangerous beast he’s torn from his happy home. Determined to return home he rallies a team of misfits on the ultimate adventure.

From the moment young Ferdinand appears on screen you fall in love with this sensitive and adorable bull. It’s almost sweetness overkill in the first 20 minutes, but in a good way. I was a little concerned going into this that I might be witnessing another awful cow movie. I’m still trying to forget Disney’s embarrassing Home on the Range. Thankfully this isn’t even in the same league as that mess. Ferdinand takes the prize on the animated cattle movies.

John Cena as the voice of adult Ferdinand is perfectly cast. Kate McKinnon also steals the movie as Lupe the calming goat. She’s hilarious and memorable in the same way Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory stole so many hearts. She’s the fun sidekick and the humour for the adults.

There was an old school animation feel to this and maybe that’s because of the classic storyline. I felt like I was watching an old animated classic. The musical score even felt very throw back to the old Disney classics. The animation was bright and fun and kids are going to have a great time watching this. The only worry you may have is your child wanting their own bull after this, I did! No kids bulls shouldn’t sleep in your house with you.

There’s been a lot of animated films lately that beat you over the head with non stop action and very little story or emotion. Ferdinand has all of that and is well done that everyone can enjoy it. You’re not going to be bored or lose your mind watching this one with this kids. I enjoyed this immensely. It’s a classic story with a message that’s still relevant today.  Ferdinand is such a great character and an overall pleasant animated film in a year of a lot of dud animated movies, this was a wonderful surprise.

Grade B+

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