Some characters in animation are so memorable and iconic that they have a life all their own. Ferdinand the Bull is one such character. Originally appearing in the 1936 children’s book The Story of Ferdinand by American author Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson, the story is best known for the version of it done by Disney two years later.

Even though it first came to the screen via Disney Animation Studios, the property has surprisingly passed to Blue Sky Studios and is in their capable hands for a new feature length animated film, entitled simply, Ferdinand.The studio is well known for a string of popular animated films, such as the Ice Age series, the movie Robots, The Peanuts Movie, and the Rio series.

The original book (and the Disney short) told the story of a peace-loving bull named Ferdinand who ends up in the arena in a case of mistaken identity. Stung by a bee in a field of flowers, Ferdinand goes on a pain-driven rampage, knocks over all the other bulls, and finally uproots a tree. The talent scouts figure they have themselves a real fighter.

The movie expands on the idea, as it would have to to be a feature length film. There is no shortage of charm in the character of Ferdinand himself, and the sense of humor and whimsy that defines this beloved tale is front and center in this trailer.

Here’s the original 1938 short, Ferdinand the Bull. 

John Cena has the starring role as the voice of Ferdinand. It releases December 15, 2017.

-30-