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Ferdinand (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCarlos Saldanha
Produced by
  • John Davis
  • Lisa Marie Stetler
  • Lori Forte
  • Bruce Anderson
Screenplay by
Story by
Based onThe Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
Robert Lawson
Music byJohn Powell
CinematographyRenato Falcão
Edited byHarry Hitner
Distributed by20th Century Fox[1]
Release date
  • December 8, 2017 (2017-12-08) (Dubai)
  • December 15, 2017 (2017-12-15) (United States)
Running time
108 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States[3]
Budget$111 million[4]
Box office$296.1 million[4]

Ferdinand is a 2017 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson's children's book The Story of Ferdinand, the film was directed by Carlos Saldanha from a screenplay by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle and Brad Copeland, and features the voice of John Cena as the titular role, alongside Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning, Gina Rodriguez, Miguel Ángel Silvestre and David Tennant. The story, written by Ron Burch, David Kidd and Don Rhymer, follows a gentle bull named Ferdinand who refuses to participate in bullfighting but is forced back into the arena where he faces the world's greatest bullfighter.

Ferdinand premiered on December 8, 2017 at the Dubai International Film Festival, and was theatrically released in the United States a week later on December 15 in 3D and 2D formats. It has grossed $296 million worldwide against a production budget of $111 million.[5][6] Ferdinand received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards, losing to Coco. It received nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song ("Home") at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.[7]

This was the last Blue Sky Studios film to be released before Disney's acquisition of Fox which was completed on March 20, 2019.


In Spain, a ranch owned by Moreno (Raúl Esparza) that trains bulls for bullfighting called Casa del Toro harbours a bull calf named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy). He is ridiculed by his fellow calves Bones (Nile Diaz), Guapo (Jet Jurgensmeyer), and Valiente (Jack Gore) for being non-confrontational and his tendency to smell and protect flowers. A saddened Ferdinand runs away from Casa del Toro after his father Raf (Jeremy Sisto) does not return from the bull fight he was picked for and a flower he was fond of was flattened by Valiente after his own father was defeated by Raf. He eventually winds up at a florist's farm in Seville and is adopted by the owner Juan (Juanes), his dog Paco (Jerrod Carmichael), and his daughter Nina (Julia Saldanha) with whom he shares a bond, much to Paco's jealousy.

When Ferdinand (John Cena) eventually grows up into an enormous bull, he still retains his non-violent, flower-loving nature. Due to his size, he is left alone when Juan, Nina (Lily Day), and Paco go to Ronda for an annual flower festival. Ferdinand decides to go anyway, resulting in him getting stung by a bee and unintentionally causing chaos around town and is taken away back to Casa del Toro, much to his and the family’s sadness.

Once back there, he finds that Bones (Anthony Anderson), Guapo (Peyton Manning), and Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) have also grown up and have been joined by a Scottish bull named Angus (David Tennant) and a silent but intimidating bull named Maquina (Tim Nordquist). Ferdinand is still disrespected by the 3 grown up bulls he knew when they were calves, but manages to befriend a crazy goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon) who wants to be his coach in bullfighting despite his lack of interest, three hedgehogs named Una (Gina Rodriguez), Dos (Daveed Diggs), and Cuatro (Gabriel Iglesias) who frequently invade Casa del Toro to steal food and used to have another brother named Tres, but they claim he is dead, and three Austrian Lipzzans (Sally Phillips, Flula Borg and Boris Kodjoe), who like dancing and tease Ferdinand.

One day, a legendary but egotistical bullfighter named El Primero (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) arrives at Casa del Toro to choose the biggest, strongest, and most aggressive bull to fight against before he retires. After the bulls fail to impress him on their first try, Guapo is taken to a nearby slaughterhouse and the other bulls tell Ferdinand that it will eventually be their fate if they are not chosen for a bullfight. Although Ferdinand manages to earn the respect of the other bulls, except Valiente, after a dance-off with the three Austrian Lipzzans, they still hold on to the belief that fighting is the only way for them to live. Ferdinand manages to convince Lupe to come back with him to Nina's farm and the hedgehogs help them escape, but when Ferdinand is close to freedom, he sees his father's picture on a wall with his horns mounted, along with dozens of other horns, making him realize that every bull who is chosen to fight gets slain by the matador.

Ferdinand explains to the other bulls that they will all eventually be killed even if they are chosen to fight. Valiente is the only one unconvinced and fights Ferdinand outside where Ferdinand inadvertently beats him in a fight and knocks off his right horn, much to the other animals' shock. Primero witnesses the scuffle, and chooses Ferdinand to fight him after seeing him defeat Valiente. When Valiente is taken to the slaughterhouse, Ferdinand rallies up the remaining bulls to escape but first goes to the slaughterhouse to break out Valiente. He at first refuses as he believes that the slaughterhouse is his fate now, but they discover that Guapo is still alive, and Ferdinand questions Valiente's courage after Valiente refuses to help him rescue Guapo. When Ferdinand tries to save a now-friendlier Guapo, he accidentally activates a series of deadly contraptions, but with the help of a now-friendlier Valiente, they escape the slaughterhouse. The bulls, Lupe, the hedgehogs and a red bunny rabbit steal the training area's company truck to escape, with Moreno and his employees giving chase.

The animals try desperately to lose the humans and wind up at Atocha train station in Madrid that Ferdinand sees as his ticket back to Nina. When the bulls push a small railroad cart to catch the train back to Nina's home, Ferdinand sacrifices himself so the other bulls can escape (except for Lupe, who stays behind in shock after Ferdinand's act) and is captured by Moreno and his employees. When Nina learns of Ferdinand's upcoming fight with El Primero, she and Juan set out to Madrid to find and rescue Ferdinand.

At Las Ventas bullfight arena, Lupe tries to convince Ferdinand that he must fight in order to survive, but Ferdinand is silently unsure. When Ferdinand is released into the bullfight ring, he refuses to fight at first but is urged into fighting by El Primero. While being forced to run into Primero’s cape, Ferdinand is able to grab the cape from Primero with his horn and is temporarily blinded by it. Primero attempts to grab his cape back from Ferdinand, but is accidentally tossed out of the ring by Ferdinand. Primero re-enters the ring angrily and attacks Ferdinand using banderillas, striking him in the shoulder. Ferdinand almost retaliates against him, but sees a carnation underneath his hoof, realizes he is becoming the fighter he was determined not to be and does not fight back. As Primero draws his sword in order to finish Ferdinand, the crowd begins to cheer for Ferdinand, convincing Primero to spare him. Ferdinand is then reunited with Nina, who embraces him as the crowd throws carnations to the ring to praise the bull. The other bulls arrive to save Ferdinand but instead witness Ferdinand making history as the first bull to ever make it out of a bullfight alive by being himself. Impressed, they sit to praise him for his efforts.

Ferdinand returns home with Nina, Juan, and Paco. They are joined by the other bulls, the hedgehogs, the bunny, and Lupe, who all move into the farm. The film ends with Ferdinand, his bull friends, and Lupe watching the sunset over Ronda from a field of flowers. During the first part of the credits a photo montage after the film's events is shown, creating an epilogue and revealing that Ferdinand's bull friends now become Ferdinand's friendiler friends, the hedgehogs become Juan's butlers, the bunny who is the farm's bodyguard and security guard, and Lupe becomes the second pet of Nina.

In a brief mid-credits scene, the hedgehogs are confronted by Tres who is revealed to have been alive the whole time.


  • John Cena as Ferdinand, a huge flower-loving bull who does not want to fight[8]
    • Colin H. Murphy voices a calf Ferdinand.
  • Kate McKinnon as Lupe, an old goat and Ferdinand's mentor[8]
  • Anthony Anderson as Bones, a small-yet-fast bull and calls Ferdinand weirdo when he rejects to help him up after Valiente pushes him due to his personality.[8]
    • Nile Diaz voices a calf Bones
  • Bobby Cannavale as Valiente, a bull who bullies Ferdinand due to his flower-loving personality and reluctance to fight.
    • Jack Gore voices a calf Valiente.
    • Cannavale also voices Valiente's father. A bull who hates Ferdinand, Valiente, Guapo, Bones, and their fathers and has a grumpy attitude causing Valiente to bully others.
  • Peyton Manning as Guapo, a narcissistic-yet-friendly bull who hates Ferdinand and his personality.[9]
  • Gina Rodriguez as Una, a hedgehog who is Dos and Cuatro's sister[8]
  • Miguel Ángel Silvestre as El Primero, a famous bull fighter who is in search of the fiercest bull to fight in his final bull fight.[8]
  • David Tennant as Angus, a Scottish Highland bull from Scotland who had hair over his eyes until Ferdinand came up with a way to fix it by licking his hair.[10]
  • Jerrod Carmichael as Paco, a dog owned by Nina and Juan[8]
  • Daveed Diggs as Dos, a hedgehog, Una and Cuatro's brother[8][11]
  • Raúl Esparza as Moreno, the owner of Casa del Toro[8]
  • Gabriel Iglesias as Cuatro, a hedgehog, Una and Dos' brother[12][8][13]
  • Juanes as Juan, the father of Nina and the owner of Ferdinand and Paco.[9]
  • Lily Day as Nina, the original owner of Ferdinand and Paco. In the end, she becomes the new owner of Lupe.
    • Julia Scarpa Saldanha voices a young Nina.
  • Tim Nordquist as Maquina, a cloned Belted Galloway bull made in a laboratory who doesn't talk and mostly makes sounds, and additional voices.
  • Flula Borg as Hans, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.[8]
  • Boris Kodjoe as Klaus, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.[8]
  • Sally Phillips as Greta, a Lipizzan at Casa del Toro.[8]
  • Cindy Slattery as Bunny, a red rabbit and additional voices.
  • Jeremy Sisto as Raf, Ferdinand's father who died in the bullfights.
  • Karla Martínez as Isabella, a village mother.[8]
  • Belita Moreno as the shopkeeper of a china shop.
  • Carlos Saldanha as Screaming Matador and additional voices


In 2011, it was reported that 20th Century Fox Animation had acquired the rights to the children's book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf to adapt it into a computer-animated feature film with Carlos Saldanha attached to direct it.[14] In May 2013, Fox titled the film simply Ferdinand, which would be produced by Blue Sky Studios.[15] John Powell, a frequent collaborator with Saldanha, would be composing the film's score.[16] In November 2016, it was reported that Gabriel Iglesias would voice a character named Cuatro, a hedgehog, Una, Dos and Tres' brother.[12]


The film's score was composed and conducted by recurrent Blu Sky Studios composer John Powell,[17] with additional music being composed by Batu Sener, Anthony Willis and Paul Mounsey. The album was released on December 15, 2017.


All tracks written by John Powell.

1."Bees and Bulls"2:34
2."Selection Process"2:02
3."Father and Son"2:06
4."Finding Home"5:27
5."A New Day"2:54
6."Flower Festival"4:46
7."There's Been A Mistake"2:26
8."Lupe and Ferdinand"2:24
9."Lipizzaners and Ferraris"2:50
10."Ferdinand and Nina"3:24
11."Bull Olympics"3:43
12."Sunsets in The Training Yard"3:13
13."Escape from the Spa"3:23
14."Highway Chase"3:10
15."From Train Station to Arena"4:37
16."Madrid Finale"12:18
Total length:62:00

EP Soundtrack[edit]

On September 19, 2017, it was announced that singer Nick Jonas wrote and recorded a song called "Home" for the movie. It was featured in the third trailer released the next day and also appeared in the movie and end credits.[18] It was released as the first promotional single of the soundtrack on October 20, 2017.[19] A second song by Nick Jonas named "Watch Me" was released alongside the film's EP on December 1.[20]

The soundtrack features three original tracks: "Home" and "Watch Me" by Nick Jonas, and "Lay Your Head On Me" by Juanes.[20][21]

1."Home"Nick Jonas3:00
2."Lay Your Head On Me"Juanes3:16
3."Watch Me"Jonas2:26
5."Macarena"Los del Rio4:09
6."Home (Film Version)"Jonas
John Powell
7."Monster (Korean Version)"EXO
John Powell
8."The Prayer (English Version)"Hayley Westenra
John Powell
Total length:18:55


In May 2013, Fox scheduled the film for April 7, 2017 release.[15] In February 2016, the release date was pushed back from its original release date of April 7, 2017 to July 21, 2017.[22] In August 2016, the release date was again pushed back, this time from July 21, 2017 to December 22, 2017, taking over the release date of DreamWorks Animation's The Croods 2,[23] before that film was temporarily cancelled.[24] In February 2017, the film was moved up a week from December 22, 2017 to December 15, 2017.[5] The first trailer premiered on March 28, 2017,[25] followed by the second trailer on June 14, 2017.[26]

Home media[edit]

Ferdinand was released on digital on February 27, 2018, and was released on Ultra HD Blu-ray, DVD and Blu-ray on March 13, 2018.


Box office[edit]

Ferdinand has grossed $84.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $210.9 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $296 million, against a production budget of $111 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, Ferdinand was released alongside Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and was projected to gross $15–20 million from 3,621 theaters in its opening weekend.[27] It made $350,000 from Thursday night previews at 2,385 theaters, which began at 5 P.M. and $3.6 million on its first day. It went on to open to $13.3 million, finishing second behind The Last Jedi.[28]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 72% based on 115 reviews and an average rating of 6.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Ferdinand's colorful update on a classic tale doesn't go anywhere unexpected, but its timeless themes – and John Cena's engaging voice work in the title role – make for family-friendly fun."[29] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30] Audience polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[28]

Spanish bullfighting writer of El País, Antonio Lorca, in a critique of the film said that the film's message is "profoundly unnatural", and that the "renunciation" of the lead character to its "animal nature" is a lie that manipulates children, who will become "tomorrow's anti-bullfighters".[31] El commented on this article by Lorca, saying that it had been widely commented on social networks and that the anti-bullfighting narrative of the film "raised hackles" for its message against animal abuse, which can also be interpreted as "fight against school bullying" and "implicit defense of sexual and gender diversity".[32]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards March 4, 2018 Best Animated Feature Carlos Saldanha and Lori Forte Nominated
Annie Awards February 3, 2018 Design in an Animated Feature Production Thomas Cardone
Arden Chan
Andrew Hickson
Mike Lee
Jason Sadler
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Harry Hitner
Tim Nordquist
Golden Globe Awards January 7, 2018 Best Animated Feature Film Carlos Saldanha Nominated [33]
Best Original Song "Home" Nominated
Cinema Audio Society Awards February 24th 2018 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated Bill Higley, Randy Thom, Lora Hirschberg, Leff Lefferts, Shawn Murphy and Scott Curtis Nominated [34]
Guild of Music Supervisors Awards February 8, 2018 Best Song/Recording Created for a Film "Home" Nominated [35]
Humanitas Prize February 16, 2018 Feature – Family Ron Burch & David Kidd, Don Rhymer, Robert L. Baird and Tim Federle and Brad Copeland Won [36]
Kids' Choice Awards March 24, 2018 Favorite Animated Film Ferdinand Nominated [37]
Producers Guild of America Awards January 20, 2018 Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture Lori Forte and Bruce Anderson Nominated [38]
Visual Effects Society Awards February 13, 2018 Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature Yaron Canetti, Allan Kadkoy, Danny Speck, Mark Adams Nominated [39]
Movieguide Awards March 2018 Best Movie for Families Ferdinand Nominated [40]


  1. ^ a b c d "Film releases". Variety Insight. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  2. ^ "Ferdinand". AMC Theatres. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  3. ^ "Ferdinand (2017)". AllMovie. Retrieved 2017-06-23.
  4. ^ a b c "Ferdinand (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 9, 2017). "Blue Sky's Bull Toon 'Ferdinand' To Lock Horns With 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  6. ^ "Past, present and future releases to Past, Present and Future Releases | UK Recent and Upcoming Movie". Retrieved 2017-04-01.
  7. ^ Rubin, Rebecca (December 11, 2017). "Golden Globe Nominations: Complete List". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Phelan, Zehra (March 28, 2017). "Like a bull in a china shop the debut trailer for Ferdinand barges in". HeyUGuys. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  9. ^ a b McLean, Tom (September 20, 2017). "'Ferdinand' Unveils Role for Manning, a Nick Jonas Tune and a New Trailer". Animation World Network. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "Like a bull in a china shop the debut trailer for Ferdinand barges in - HeyUGuys". Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  11. ^ Diggs, Daveed (March 28, 2017). "Excited for y'all to meet #Dos in the new @ferdinandmovie he's a real good dude. #Ferdinand#HedgehogsRepresent". Twitter. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  12. ^ a b Busch, Anita (November 17, 2016). "Gabriel Iglesias Joins 'Ferdinand' & 'Smurfs' Voice Casts As He Readies Comedy Tour". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  13. ^ Diggs, Daveed (March 28, 2017). "Excited for y'all to meet #Dos in the new @ferdinandmovie he's a real good dude. #Ferdinand #HedgehogsRepresent". Twitter. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  14. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (February 18, 2011). "Fox, Ice Age Director Bullish on The Story of Ferdinand". New York. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Chitwood, Adam (May 16, 2013). "DreamWorks Animation Moves B.O.O. Release Up to June 5, 2015 and TROLLS to November 4, 2016; Fox Dates ANUBIS and FERDINAND". Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  16. ^ "John Powell to Score Blue Sky Studios' 'Ferdinand'". Film Music Reporter. September 14, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "First Look! Peyton Manning and Nick Jonas Lend Their Voices to Ferdinand (and Feel Pretty Bullish About It)". 2017-09-19. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  19. ^ "Home (From the Motion Picture "Ferdinand") - Single by Nick Jonas on Apple Music". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  20. ^ a b "'Ferdinand' Soundtrack EP Details - Film Music Reporter". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  21. ^ ""Watch Me" from Ferdinand (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP by Various Artists on iTunes". 1 December 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  22. ^ "Gambit, Alien, Predator and Fox / Marvel Release Updates". February 28, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  23. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 9, 2016). "'Croods 2' Release Delayed Amid DreamWorks Animation Sale". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  24. ^ Rainey, James (November 11, 2016). "DreamWorks Animation and Universal Kill 'Croods 2' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  25. ^ Randee Dawn (March 28, 2017). "Watch the trailer for John Cena's new animated movie Ferdinand". Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  26. ^ "OFFICIAL: New 'Ferdinand' Trailer Tomorrow | TrailerTrack". TrailerTrack. 2017-06-13. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  27. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 12, 2017). "The Global Box Office Awakens: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Could Power To $440M Opening". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  28. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 17, 2017). "'The Last Jedi' Opening To $219M: How Disney Continues To Win With The 'Star Wars' Franchise". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  29. ^ "Ferdinand (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Ferdinand Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 25 December 2017.
  31. ^ Lorca, Antonio (2018-01-06). "La conmovedora, tierna, sensiblera y mentirosa historia del toro Ferdinand". EL PAÍS (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  32. ^ "El crítico taurino de 'El País' embiste contra la película 'Ferdinand' porque el toro no muere en la plaza: "Es antinatural"". (in Spanish). Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  33. ^ Lisa Respers France. "Golden Globe nominations 2018: The list". Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  34. ^ "54th CAS Awards Nominees". Cinema Audio Society. January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  35. ^ "Sufjan Stevens, 'Greatest Showman,' 'Girls' Among Guild of Music Supervisors Awards Nominees". Variety. January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  36. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 9, 2018). "Humanitas Prize Finalists Announced; Feature Awards Split Into 3 Categories". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  37. ^ Pond, Steve (February 26, 2018). "Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards 2018: Watch Host John Cena Announce the Favorite Movie Nominees". E! Online. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  38. ^ Dave McNary (January 5, 2018). "Producers Guild Awards: 'Get Out,' 'Wonder Woman' Among Film Nominees". Variety. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  39. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 16, 2018). "Visual Effects Society Awards: 'Apes,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Lead Feature Nominees". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  40. ^ "2018 Movieguide Awards Nominations". Movieguides Awards. February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018.

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