Ferdinand review

 

My opinion right after watching the film

My opinion right after watching the movie is that it is pleasant. I can’t call it great, and I can’t call it bad or horrible, but it’s pretty pleasant. A lot of it is predictable and kind of basic, but there is some sort of charm to it that makes it stand out quite a bit. While the message is predictable, and there is some pacing issues (and the characters are not the best), there is quite a bit of likability to it.

Production

All I know about the production of this film is that 20th Century Fox bought the rights to the book The Story of Ferdinand in 2011.

Story

The film starts with a bull named Ferdinand (Colin H. Murphy and John Cena) being ridiculed by his peers about not wanting to fight like everyone else when he is older, and he is expected by his father Raf (Jeremy Sisto) to follow his path. Ferdinand ends up running away after his favorite flower was crushed, and his father fails to return after a bullfight, causing him to be adopted by farmers.

Years later, Ferdinand grows into a big bull, who was smelling flowers in the human town, but causes  lot of ruckus, which causes him to be locked up in a truck. Somehow, he ends up back at the bull farm where he grew up, to be reunited with the three bulls who disliked him as a child. Of course the main bull named Valiente (Bobby Cannavale) wants to beat him, in order to be beat by the best, and some goat named Lupe (Kate McKinnon) makes the situation even worse.

A famous bullfighter named El Primero (Miguel Angel Silvestre) shows up at the bull farm, since he wants to fight the best bull for his final fight before retirement. They all realize that once a bull is chosen, the rest of them will be sent to the slaughterhouse. Ultimately, none of the bulls were chosen because he was trying to help Guapo (Peyton Manning), but Guapo ends up getting chosen “to fight” (though it is really the slaughter house). Bones (Anthony Anderson) end up crying, and is cheered up by Ferdinand, killing a lot of the animosity.

Ferdinand and some others enter a building, and he sees his father’s picture, and the heads of all the bulls that were chosen, realizing that none of the bulls win, and all of them will be killed, whether chosen or not. Right when he has the chance to get freedom and escape, he decides that he needs to save all of the bulls. He wakes up all of the other bulls to tell them that being chosen is another slaughter house, which causes Valiente to snap, and finally decides to attack Ferdinand for being a wimp. He talks about how Ferdinand’s father was a wimp, which causes the latte to snap his horn, which El Primero sees, causing him to be chosen, and Valiente to be sent to the slaughter house.

Ferdinand goes to the slaughter house, and helps Valiente escape (despite the latter being down and dimmer initially). Guapo is discovered to be alive, and all three of them make it back to the farm, where all of the animals decide to get into a truck and drive off. A chases ensues, resulting in Ferdinand getting captured. The battle commences, but he is not killed when the audience demands for El Primero to let him live.  He returns to the farmers who raised him, and all of the other animals oi him happily ever after.

I don’t know what to say about this film; it is generic, but it is pleasantly generic. It has a pretty nice message, but tells it in the most diluted and simplistic way that it makes the pleasantness turn into sheer boringness. Blue Sky has definitely done worse, but this is by no means a film that is strong at all. One more film (The Star) before I can move on from this boring and draining year of animated film.

Characters

I don’t really have much to say about the characters. Ferdinand is just the typical fish-out-of-water, with him liking the smell of flowers over fighting, the goat is just a nuisance piece of comic relief, Valiente is the overtly tough one who knows no better, and the humans are just meander plot devices tat aren’t even characters themselves. A decent enough dynamic, but nothing that really stands out in a memorable enough way to me.

Animation

The animation is a bit weird to me. I like how the settings, backgrounds, and the colour scheme was in the film, but the character designs could have been a lot better, especially since Blue Sky has done a lot better. This might be a weird complaint, but it just seems a bit too foxy and cartoony for very little to no reason. Nothing horrible, but once again, it is just a bit bland.

Music

To be honest, I didn’t really notice the score of the film. There were no songs (at least from what I can recall), but at the same time, the stuff that I did hear wasn’t jarring to the point that it was instant that it shouldn’t be there. Just very basic and mediocre, but does fit what they were going with regarding the themes and story.

Reception at Release

When the film was released on December 15th, 2017, it made (as of January 5th, 2018) $65 million in North America, and $81.8 million in other territories, adding up to a worldwide amount of $146.8 million, and with a $111 million budget, it did well enough.

Critically, it has received mixed-positive reviews, where people saw it as just okay, and slightly pleasant. It is currently pending for a few awards.

Score

Story: 6/10

Characters: 6/10

Animation: 6/10

Music: 6/10

24/40 = 60%

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