“Once upon a time in Spain, there was a little bull named Ferdinand.”  This is the first line of Munro Leaf’s classic book, The Story of Ferdinand.  Disney Studios made it into an Oscar-winning cartoon short in 1938.  Now, Ferdinand is back, this time as a full-length animated feature from Blue Sky and 20th Century Fox.  It was released on Friday, December 15, 2017.

David Tennant, star of "Doctor Who" and "Good Omens," voiced a Highland bull in "Ferdinand."

David Tennant voiced Angus in “Ferdinand”

At 107 minutes long, the new film goes into far more detail and back story than the Disney cartoon.  In the reboot, Ferdinand is adopted by a florist and his family and raised as a pet.  He is sent against his will to the bullfighting ring, a place which is anathema to his pacificistic nature.  He wants only to get home to his human, Nina.

Blue Sky Studios, the makers of Ice Age, Rio, and The Peanuts Movie, have hired a talented cast.

  • Wrestler/actor John Cena as Ferdinand the bull
  • Kate McKinnon (Dr. Jillian Holtzmann in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot) as Lupe the goat
  • Lily Day as Nina, the human girl who loves Ferdinand as an overgrown housepet
  • David Tennant (the 10th Doctor in Doctor Who) as Angus, a Scottish bull
  • Gina Rodriguez (Carmen Sandiego in the upcoming Carmen Sandiego series)  as Una the hedgehog
  • Daveed Diggs (the Marquis de Lafayette in Hamilton) as Dos the hedgehog
  • Gabriel Iglesias (Head Clerk in Coco) as Cuatro the hedgehog
  • Grammy-winning musician Juanes as Juan, Nina’s father
  • Miguel Ángel Silvestre (Lito Rodríguez in Sense8) as El Primero, the matador
  • Bobby Cannavale (Jim Paxton in Ant-Man and Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Valiente the bull
  • Anthony Anderson (Glen Whitmann in Transformers) as Bones the Bull
  • Quarterback Peyton Manning as Guapo the Bull
  • Jerrod Carmichael (Jimmy in Transformers: The Last Knight) as Paco the dog
Wrestler and rapper John Cena stars in "Ferdinand."

John Cena voices the title role in “Ferdinand.”

Rotten Tomatoes said  “Ferdinands 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.”

Ferdinand has already been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song.  That song is “Home,” performed by Nick Jonas.  Other music in the movie is performed by Juanes, Pitbull, and Los del Rio.

Have you seen Ferdinand yet? If so, how do you think it compares to the original, or are they too different to compare?  With so many blockbusters out in December — The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water, Coco, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Justice League, and Thor: Ragnarok — playing in so many theaters, does the new movie (excuse the pun) have a fighting chance to succeed?






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Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress ”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.