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Carlos Saldanha
John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale
Writing Credits:
Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle, Brad Copeland

A bull with a big heart, Ferdinand is mistaken for a dangerous beast so he is captured and torn from his home.

Box Office:
$111 million.
Opening Weekend
$13,401,586 on 3621 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Vietnamese Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 108 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 3/13/2018
• “Ferdinand’s Guide to Healthy Living” Featurette
• “A Goat’s Guide to Life” Featurettte
• “Ferdinand’s Team Supreme”
• “Spain Through Ferdinand’s Eyes”
• “Confessions of a Bull-Loving Horse”
• “Creating the Land” Featurette
• “Anatomy of a Scene” Featurette
• “Learn to Dance with Ferdinand” Featurette
• “Ferdinand’s Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden” Featurette
• “Home” Music Video
• “Creating a Remarka-Bull Song” Featurette
• Gallery
• Trailer and Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer.


Ferdinand [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 21, 2018)

With 2017’s Ferdinand, we get an adaptation of Munro Leaf’s 1936 children’s book. Set in Spain, Moreno (voiced by Raúl Esparza) owns a farm that breeds bulls for fighting.

In this setting, a calf named Ferdinand grows, but he wants to make love, not war, and as an adult (John Cena), he escapes Moreno’s ranch. Ferdinand finds a home on a peaceful farm, but matters conspire to force him to battle for his freedom.

Ferdinand offers the second cinematic adaptation of Leaf’s book. In 1938, Walt Disney created Ferdinand the Bull, a short that earned an Oscar and that remains beloved.

The Disney version ran eight minutes and it seemed to encapsulate the narrative pretty well. After all, Leaf’s original filled a mere 32 pages, and it largely focused on illustrations, with only limited text – an eight minute cartoon summarized the source accurately.

The 2017 film lasts precisely 100 minutes longer than the Disney version. Obviously this means it needs to add a lot of new characters and situations - does it use that expanded real estate in a satisfying manner?

Nope. While the movie provides passable entertainment, it really runs way too long for a simple story.

This becomes the case not just because it uses such a brief tale as its inspiration. I don’t mind that Ferdinand expands its source and becomes a much broader narrative.

I do mind how little inspiration comes along for the ride, as Ferdinand fails to develop into a consistently compelling tale. Instead, it often feels like a conglomeration of independent scenes connected together by a loose narrative.

Actually, the movie starts reasonably well, as it paints young Ferdinand as something of a bovine Gandhi. The character’s sweetness and belief system come out in a pleasing manner and the film shows promise.

Once Ferdinand leaves the ranch, though, the flick goes off the rails, mainly because it works too hard to over-stimulate us. We find skatey-eight different supporting roles and the story detours into comedic situations that don’t exist for any organic reason, like the filmmakers feel they can’t leave one second free from antics.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the adaptation of a very simple story into a nearly two-hour movie forces the producers of Ferdinand to explore all sorts of tangential options. Still, the looseness/clumsiness of the narrative remains a problem, as the film loses its basic purpose too easily.

Also, it feels like it won’t ever end, as 108 minutes seems long for most animated films, a genre that usually clocks in around 90 minutes. Once again, the thin nature of source exacerbates the situation, as Ferdinand inevitably comes with more filler than otherwise might be the case.

This means the movie demonstrates occasional charms – mainly via a good cast – but it threatens to become interminable. An 80-minute Ferdinand might work, but a 108-minute version wears thin long before its conclusion arrives.

Footnote: a small tag scene pops up midway through the end credits. It’s very short, and nothing else appears after it.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Ferdinand appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While attractive, this wasn’t one of the best-looking animated Blu-rays I’ve seen.

Sharpness could be a minor distraction. Though most of the movie displayed solid clarity, a few shots seemed a smidgen soft. These were mild instances, but parts of the image lacked the tightness I expect from Blu-ray.

At least no issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, the image lacked any print flaws; it remained clean at all times.

Colors became a strong element. The movie went with a somewhat pastel palette, and it displayed consistently vivid hues within its chosen range.

Blacks were dense and tight, and shadows were usually fine, though a few low-light shots seemed a bit dark. Overall, this was a good enough presentation for a “B+”, but that meant the presentation disappointed compared to the usual “A”-level computer animated effort.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack, it opened up the film in a satisfying manner. Though the mix didn’t give us wall-to-wall theatrics, it managed to use the spectrum well.

As expected, the film’s occasional action sequences boasted nice breadth and activity, and the bullfight-related elements created a fine sense of involvement. While the soundscape didn’t stun us on a frequent basis, it provided more than enough to succeed.

Audio quality seemed consistently solid. Speech appeared natural and distinctive; no edginess or other issues marred the dialogue.

Music sounded warm and full, while effects showed good clarity and accuracy. When necessary, bass response came across as deep and tight. All of this lifted the track to “B+” status.

A bunch of extras appear here, and we launch with Ferdinand’s Guide to Healthy Living. It runs three minutes, nine seconds and features comments from actor John Cena. As implied by the title, the show gives us tips how to maintain physical and emotional health. It’s essentially a PSA meant for kids.

With A Goat’s Guide to Life, we find a three-minute, eight-second piece with “Lupe”. This gives us 10 social tips from the movie’s goat character. It’s another PSA-style short that shoots for a more comedic feel than “Living”, but at least Kate McKinnon does the voice herself, not some impersonator.

During the three-minute, 45-secind Ferdinand’s Team Supreme, we get notes about the movie’s supporting roles. Cena and McKinnon reprise their roles in this mildly entertaining view of the secondary characters.

A view of the film’s locations comes via Spain Through Ferdinand’s Eyes. It spans one minute, 50 second and provides basics about Spain. Again, the presence of Cena as narrator adds class, but “Eyes” is way too short and superficial to offer much.

Another in-character short, Confessions of a Bull-Loving Horse goes for three minutes, 22 seconds and offers Flula Borg as “Hans”. Expect another moderately amusing but essentially forgettable reel.

An actual look at the production, the five-minute, 49-second Creating the Land of Ferdinand includes notes from Cena, director Carlos Saldanha, production designer Thomas Cardone, set designer Tom Humber, producer Bruce Anderson, lighting supervisor Jeeyun Sung Chisholm,

As expected, “Creating” views design issues and the movie’s version of Spain. It’s short but reasonably informative.

Next comes Anatomy of a Scene, a four-minute, three-second featurette with Saldanha, Anderson, producer Lori Forte and head of story Warren Leonhardt, “Anatomy” offers details of the “running of the bulls” sequence. Like “Creating”, it becomes a decent little overview.

A tutorial called Learn to Dance with Ferdinand fills seven minutes, 46 seconds and features Saldanha, choreographers Rich and Tone Talauega, This mixes insights about the movie’s choreography along with a lesson on how to dance like the characters. It works better than I expected.

Garden educator Lisa Ely leads us through Ferdinand’s Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden. In the six-minute, 49-second clip, Ely teaches us how to create our own gardens. Kids might enjoy it.

After this we find a Music Video for “Home” by Nick Jonas. The video offers a simple mix of movie clips and lip-synch performance footage. Neither the song nor the video do much for me.

For a look behind the scenes of “Home”, we go to Creating a Remarka-Bull Song. It fills three minutes, 51 seconds and features Saldanha and Jonas. We find some bland notes about “Home”.

The Art of Ferdinand breaks into four areas: “Concept Paintings” (12 frames), “Character Designs” (16), “Locations” (9) and “Stills” (6). Though brief, the galleries offer some good images.

The disc opens with ads for The Greatest Showman, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and the Ice Age franchise. We also find the trailer for Ferdinand.

A second disc offers a DVD copy of Ferdinand. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

With a sweet, pro-social message at its core and a talented cast, Ferdinand boasts occasional glimmers of charm. However, the movie's story remains too thin and it runs far too long for it to entertain on a consistent basis. The Blu-ray offers very good picture and audio as well as a long but often forgettable set of supplements. I like parts of Ferdinand but feels it grows stale well before it finally concludes.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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