Ferdinand is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama film based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s 1936 classic children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand and directed by Carlos Saldanha. The movie features the voices of John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning, Gina Rodriguez, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, and David Tennant.

Yes, that’s the wrestler John Cena – the perfect guy to voice a gentle pacifist hulk-sized bull.

Ferdinand will be released in Singapore cinemas from 21 December, competing with the blockbuster release, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Nonetheless, Ferdinand should have an edge for the family with young kids segment for share of the festive audience pie.

When I asked my son, Asher, 6, which movie he wanted to watch, Star Wars or Ferdinand, he was very clear on his choice.

Ferdinand was released in the United States on December 15, 2017 in 3D and 2D, and  has received generally positive reviews from critics, who particularly praised Cena’s vocal performance. The film also received nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (“Home”) at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.

Synopsis: 

Ferdinand, is a a giant bull with a big heart. he is mistaken for a dangerous beast and is captured and torn from his home and family. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team for the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.

Trailer:

The story is simple and easily digestible for kids. Asher gets it and was laughing along with the jokes and punchlines from start till end.

There are also lots of cutesy and memorable animal characters from a thieving trio of hedgehogs to a motley crue of assorted bulls to a group of narcissistic horses, not forgetting an ugly, kind-hearted goat.

I am a pacifist by nature and dislike conflict. I am particularly allergic to the military and armed forces, even though I know the justification for national defense. The world will definitely be a better place if people just give and take more and avoid conflicts and wars. Alas, it is not as simple as that in the real world. As such, I like the movie theme.

In Ferdinand, the pacifist concept is communicated and evangelised in a simple, straightforward manner that even young kids can understand and relate to. Maybe if more kids watch Ferdinand, there will be less of the Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump alpha-male, war-mongering types growing up.

On that note, since both of these two world leaders tend to behave like spoilt brats, both of them should really be forced to watch Ferdinand to stamp out their thoughts on waging wars.

Bullfighting is a complex debate between preserving tradition and the need to move away from using animals for a spectator sport, not to mentioned the potential injury or even death risk for the matador in the ring. Ferdinand scratches the surface of the issue, but it’s a step towards better understanding these issues and the broader world issues at play when it comes to conflicts and resolutions.

Chim?

Well, I was able to engage with Asher on these lofty topics after the movie when he asked me more about bullfighting and why Ferdinand refuses to fight. To me, it’s a great movie to teach your child about the concept of pacifism and why there should be less wars.

All in all, it’s a great movie for kids and they will be thoroughly entertained, while at the same time, learning some good moral values.