With Star Wars: The Last Jedi opening this past week, many movie openings were overlooked. If you or your kids aren’t crazy about the Star Wars franchise or are just looking for a movie that boasts a PG rating rather than Star Wars’ PG-13, then Ferdinand might be the movie for you.
Set in Spain, Ferdinand begins with the title character as a little bull with a big heart. He’s taught that his only goal should be to get chosen to fight “El Matador”, but Ferdinand would rather stop and smell the flowers than fight. Ferdinand grows and grows, but even at his enormous size, Ferdinand is gentle and kind. Through a series of events, he gets mistaken for a dangerous fighting bull and is taken from his loving home. Ferdinand’s only goal was to get back home where he belonged.
Opening alongside The Last Jedi made Ferdinand a bit of a box office flop. Blue Sky Studios’ newest film grossed just $13.4 million on its debut weekend compared to The Last Jedi’s $220 million. Blue Sky is the creator of popular children’s movies like the Ice Age franchise and Rio. While they’ve mostly been focusing on sequels to their already successful films, Ferdinand is a step in the right direction, but it’s possible the FOX owned company may struggle to stay afloat. With The Walt Disney Company’s recent acquisition of FOX, and with Disney already owning several major animation studios such as Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar, the production company’s future hangs in the balance.
While nothing about Ferdinand’s story or animation will surprise movie-goers, it’s a heartwarming, sweet children’s movie nonetheless. The characters are loveable, the setting is nice, and the story is timeless. It’s hard to compete with Disney’s animated films and with Disney’s newest outstanding star Coco still in theaters, Ferdinand needed something to stand out. Ferdinand’s voice cast stole the show. John Cena, a household name not only for his wrestling, but also for being an all-around good guy, voiced Ferdinand himself. His full length animated voice acting debut was surprisingly successful, and his voice and personality matched that of Ferdinand himself. Kate McKinnon, a well known name in comedy, also had a big role as Ferdinand’s funny goat sidekick.
The classic story may have not been adapted perfectly to the book, with all the added crazy characters, car chases, and other seemingly random additions to add bulk to the film, but the themes still persists. People can’t always meet the expectations that are put on them, especially ones that would have them change who they are, violence is not the answer, and the love of family and friends is essential to be happy. Through all the funny filler, the truly unforgettable story of Ferdinand shines through.