Critics Consensus

Ferdinand's colorful update on a classic tale doesn't go anywhere unexpected, but its timeless themes -- and John Cena's engaging voice work in the title role -- make for family-friendly fun.



Reviews Counted: 116

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,806


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

FERDINAND tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can't judge a bull by its cover. From Blue Sky Studios and Carlos Saldanha, the director of "Rio" and inspired by the beloved book "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson, "Ferdinand" is a heartwarming animated comedy adventure with an all-star cast that includes John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Anderson and many more.

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Critic Reviews for Ferdinand

All Critics (116) | Top Critics (18)

  • With a lovely voice performance from Cena, the spirit of Ferdinand does shine through. But the rest of the story filler is mostly forgettable.

    Dec 15, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Ferdinand is not going to be the next Frozen or Lion King or even the fourth or fifth Ice Age movie, but there's a reason the story is still being told some 81 years after it was first published.

    Dec 15, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The lurching rhythms of Ferdinand make a clean story feel ungainly and episodic ...

    Dec 14, 2017 | Full Review…

    Scott Tobias

    Top Critic
  • A mostly pleasant surprise in a year that has produced a lack of stellar animated outings.

    Dec 14, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie is bright and peppy enough to hold young viewers' attention, though a faithful 1938 Walt Disney short showed more inventiveness in eight minutes.

    Dec 14, 2017 | Full Review…
  • In the title role, wrestler-turned-actor John Cena gives Ferdinand just the right balance of sweetness and strength. He becomes the wholly convincing center of the parable.

    Dec 14, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Ferdinand

Another formulaic animation by Carlos Saldanha, who tries too hard to make something fun for the whole family but doesn't seem to realize how forgettable this is, with silly German horses, endless chases and pedestrian jokes that rely mostly on Ferdinand being big and clumsy.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


It can't go to toe-to-toe with Coco for the animation Oscar, but Ferdinand represents a step forward in quality for Blue Sky Studios. They've managed to infuse their usual brand of frenetic storytelling and frantic humor with a nice adherence to the source material. It a shiny piece of animation for modern day families but telling a timely and poignant story that culminates in a touching match in the arena. This is predictable fluff, but actually hilarious, the German stallions had me guffawing, and John Cena and Kate McKinnon do great vocal work. What I think would improve Blue Sky's efforts on a more technical level, would be the fleshing out of the backgrounds and a more unique visual style. The animation is nice but very basic and not filled in as much as one would expect from Pixar. Still, Ferdinand is often too frantic, but its message is strong and its a pleasant way to spend an afternoon at the movies. In a year with few good animation offerings, this one at least ended the year stronger. Rating: 72

Bradley J
Bradley J

Super Reviewer


There are plenty of animated films that follow the same sort of formula, make the kids laugh with silly humor but keep the adults entertained by throwing in a heartfelt message that resonates well with people of all ages. Ferdinand certainly tries to do just that with the story of an outsider just wanting to break the mold of being a tough fighter bull, but it also falls victim to the same sort of problems that most non-Disney/Pixar films do. It's always so easy to tell the difference between an animated film that is for all ages and one that is merely made for kids dragging their parents to the theater, and it has nothing to do with the animation style difference between studios. The real difference is in the humor and direction. Ferdinand is full of great voice talent from the improving John Cen, to Kate McKinnon, Daveed Diggs, or Gina Rodriguez. Heck it's even impressive in the look of Blue Sky's animation. However, I had a real issue with the use of that particular voice talent and animation that made the experience far from a worthy outing at the movies. When 98% of the humor is physical-slapstick cheap humor that has no substance or bearing on the actual story, then I constantly get the feeling there wasn't as much time or care put forth in the making of the film than there should be. Which in turn, can eliminate any emotion you did have attached with those particular characters in the first place if the film puts humor before heart. With that said, of course there are things to like about Ferdinand. There will always be place in Hollywood for stories about characters breaking the mold and doing something different, whether that be a human, animal, or even toy. Underneath all of the ridiculous humor, there is a nice arc for the character of Ferdinand and his various animal friends. To me though, the misplaced childish humor every few minutes interrupts any momentum for the real story to kick in. 5.7/10

Thomas Drufke
Thomas Drufke

Super Reviewer

Unfortunately, 20th Century Fox once again did not learn their lesson to release juvenile crap on the same day Star Wars hits theaters. They got awfully owned by the way better Force Awakens when it came to that Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. Ferdinand, on the other hand, attempts to become way better than Fox's latest attempt to bring the chipmunks back to theaters but that doesn't mean that Ferdinand is a second option to send children or basically the whole family just in case they have already seen the latest Star Wars movie. I just wish 20th Century Fox would just stop releasing movies like these on the same day as Star Wars gets released to theaters unless they can bring a way better movie that isn't juvenile like their latest attempts yet. Literally worth the shot once it becomes able for rent but don't expect to find anything that can hold this movie back from its score.

EpicLadySponge the Adventurer
EpicLadySponge the Adventurer

Super Reviewer

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