FERDINAND (G, 106MINS) DIRECTED BY CARLOS SALDANHA
While every other bull at Casa Del Toro dreamed of being chosen by the Matador, Ferdinand (John Cena) preferred to tend to the wildflowers. And despite coping with the bullying from his more aggressive contemporaries for years, his father’s failure to return from the Madrid arena was the final straw for our sensitive beefcake.
Running off into the night, he boards a train and finds safe harbour on a farm with Nina and her father. However, his idyllic life is shattered a few summers later when his desire to attend the local flower festival ends in disaster, destruction and disgrace.
Hauled away by the authorities, Ferdinand winds up back where he started and in prime position to be selected for legendary Matador El Primo’s final fight.
The first feature-length version of Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s much-loved, more-than80-year-old children’s book, Ferdinand is an amiabull, entertaining romp for cinemagoers of all ages.
From the bright, colourful animation to the eclectic vocal cast (everyone from NFL quarterback Peyton Manning to former Doctor Who star David Tennant and Miranda‘ s Sally Phillips), director Carlos Saldanha’s ( Rio, Ice Age) adventure combines knockabout comedy with action aplenty – to engrossing effect.
While the evocation of a panEuropean Spain will annoy some (why they have British policemen, I’ll never know), the story benefits greatly from the inclusion of Tennant’s Highland Bull Angus and a trio of self-absorbed Austrian horses.