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Times of India
A heartwarming tale of a bull who prefers smelling flowers instead of fighting matadors in the ring
Right from the time he was a calf, Ferdinand (John Cena) preferred spending time nurturing flowers instead of dreaming of entering the bullfighting arena. Realising that his beloved father is never going to return to the Casa Del Toro ranch after being taken away by a matador, little Ferdinand decides to run away from the violence that surrounds and saddens him. Fortunately, his escape leads him to Nina (Lily Day) and her father's farm, who welcome Ferdinand into their home and hearts. The gentle giant is thrilled to discover a meadow where he can spend hours smelling his precious flowers along with his new family who dote on him. As time passes by, Ferdinand grows up into an impressive bull — with the biggest heart and the most genial demeanour. An unfortunate accident leads him back to the ranch he despises where he meets his old mates and makes new acquaintances.
Heartbroken about being separated from his beloved family, Ferdinand must not only win over his fellow bulls' trust (they taunt him by calling him Flower Bull) but also figure out how to escape and reunite with his family. John Cena does a fine voice-over as the strong-willed bull who steadfastly refuses to fight a matador despite being the strongest (and biggest) animal on the ranch. Director Carlos Saldanha has efficiently woven the screenplay around Ferdinand's enormous size and gentle disposition, which tells us that looks can be deceptive. You often find your heart melting at Ferdinand's predicament, and laugh and sigh with him during the course of the movie.
The animation is cute and there are several scenes that will make you chuckle especially the dance off between the bulls and haughty horses, which evokes claps. Lupe (Kate McKinnon), the calming goat, who constantly eggs Ferdinand to fight despite his reluctance, is a memorable character thanks to her witty one liners. With the holiday season coming up, animated films are bound to make an appearance in cinema halls.
is a fun film that doesn't just put a smile on your face, it also has a message — you don't have to do things just because others expect you to. Go on, take your kids for this one — you certainly won't get bored.