Ferdinand – A Family Movie Review

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We were invited to preview Ferdinand which opens on Friday, December 15.

This movie is based on The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson.

Ferdinand is a bull who likes to sit under his trees and enjoy the smell of the flowers.  He escapes the Casa Del Toro a place to breed fighting bulls to the house of Juan and his daughter Nina. Ferdinand grows up surrounded by a flower production farm and gentleness.  When he goes to the village’s Annual Flower Festival, he creates so much havoc the town ships him off to a bull ranch…his old home.

Once there, he is reacquainted with his buddies from childhood– Valiente, Guapo, and Bones– as well as others including Austrian showhorses, a trio of hedgehogs, and our favorite Calming Goat, Lupe.  From here the story gets busy.  Ferdinand learns about the Chop House and the Bull Ring in Madrid.  There are many attempted escapes and other hilarious scenes that may or may not include dancing.

The movie is rated PG for rude humor, action, thematic elements.  It runs at 1 hour and 46 minutes.

In the animated feature, the story of Ferdinand comes to life in technicolor.  But as in all re-creations, not exactly.  There is a reason the name of the movie is Ferdinand and not The Story of Ferdinand.  In the film, as usual, there is very little that is like the book.

Similarities Differences
  • Ferdinand is gentle
  • Ferdinand’s favorite tree
  • The bee sting
  • The other bulls
  • Bullfight in Madrid
  • Nina and her papa
  • The flower festival
  • The horses
  • Ferdinand’s dad and not his mama
  • Chop House
  • The Attempted Escape (s)
  • The hedgehogs
  • Lupe, the Calming Goat
  • What happens at the bullfight (this is COMPLETELY different)

Parental Discretion for Ferdinand
  1. Some of the humor –including from the horses Hans, Greta, and Klaus–is a little crude.  But by a little, I mean very little.
  2. If your child gets anxious easily at movies (like one of mine does), there are many escape scenes that you may want to warn them about.  Everything turns out just fine, but I could see them being a little tense for some kids.
  3. At one point, Ferdinand learns what going to the bull ring means for a bull.  This can be easily overlooked by an unknowing kiddo, but I wanted to make you aware to anticipate it.

Other than that, I thought it was an incredible family movie.  I caught myself laughing out loud many times.  The comedic timing was spot on–which is great since we have been talking to our kids about how to be funny and not annoying and/or hurtful.

FFTC received complimentary tickets for this review, but all thoughts are 100% my own.

Find More Family Movie Night Ideas: Descriptions and Parental Guidance Here

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