|Directed by||:||Carlos Saldanha||Produced by||:||Bruce Anderson, Lori Forte, Paul Feig||Based on||:||The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf||Starring||:||John Cena, Kate McKinnon||Production company||:||Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Fox Animation, Davis Entertainment (uncredited)||Country||:||United States|
Film Review: ‘Ferdinand’
Blue Sky finds the heart of Munro Leaf's beloved picture book, about a Spanish bull who refuses to fight, in this delightful CG toon.Children’s picture-book classic “The Story of Ferdinand” may not be quite the literary phenomenon it was 79 years ago, when Walt Disney adapted Munro Leaf’s pacifist parable into an Oscar-winning animated short, but that doesn’t make the character — a Spanish bull who simply refuses to fight in the ring — any less relevant or endearing today. In fact, while the news cycle may have momentarily shifted away from the serious issue of bullying, what better way to address it with kids than via the story of an actual bull who’s picked on by his peers?
Of course, there’s a world of difference between a seven-minute short and a 108-minute feature, and Fox’s “Ferdinand” — which has been vibrantly brought to life by director Carlos Sandanha (“Rio”) and the team at Blue Sky, the company behind “Ice Age,” “Robots” and the recent Peanuts feature — strains at times, but in what’s been an underwhelming year for big-studio animation, it’s the best of the bunch: sincere, likable, surprisingly funny, and overall true to its source material.