The story of Ferdinand, a Spanish bull who refuses to fight, has been around for 80 years. However its anti-bullying message and themes of staying true to yourself feel more relevant now than ever.
This adaptation of that old picture book makes for a very good family film. The animation, from the studio behind Ice Age, paints a gorgeous and vibrant picture of Spain and features some rollickingly fun big action set-pieces, including, yes, the hulking Ferdinand tip-toeing his way through an overly stocked china shop.
The visuals do full justice to the story, which is heartfelt and told with emotion, but also packs in enough gags to keep viewers of all ages entertained. The action varies from chaotic to stealthy to deadly as it builds to its thrilling final showdown in the bull fighting ring.
There are some misfires. A mid-movie "dance-off" felt tired and Kate McKinnon's ad-libbing goat strikes as much as she misses, but for the most part Ferdinand is an easy watch for adults and a fun ride for the kids.
Ferdinand is voiced by WWE superstar John Cena, who turns in a surprisingly great performance. Cena has long been a verbal anti-bullying advocate and his casting here is an inspired choice.
Ferdinand doesn't quite hit "classic" status, but that shouldn't stop you taking the kids to see it. It's smart, fun and filled with heart.
John Cena, Kate McKinnon, David Tennant
Fun for the whole family - no bull.
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