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Ferdinand: Movie Review

There has been a fine line between what’s outstanding and good animated films. Outstanding films leave audiences with a lasting mark. There’s the vibrant visuals for the kids but there’s the funny and emotional aspects that are mostly designed for adults. It’s a win-win for both. “Ferdinand” is a particular film that’s good but not outstanding. It does not bring any emotional heft but there’s no denying that sometimes, all we want to do is have fun. And in that regard, it actually gets high marks.

As a young bull, Ferdinand (John Cena) has always loved flowers and hated fighting. But this is against what bulls’ natural instincts. Due to this, Ferdinand is considered an outcast by his friends. One day, his father was chosen by a Matador to duel on the ring. His father promises to win and go back to teach him the ways of being a bull but when he is defeated and killed, Ferdinand, out of panic, runs away. Finding himself in the hands of a farmer and his daughter Nina, Ferdinand finds the home the has been looking for and free to play with flowers the whole day. Years pass and Ferdinand grows to be a huge bull. Going to the yearly flower festival in town, people panic and see him as a monster. Captured and considered a runaway bull, he is taken to his old home and must find a way to escape or else.
As silly as the premise of “Ferdinand” might be (a huge bull with a flowery addiction), the end result is nothing but. The film wittily plays with this huge contradiction and ensured that the hijinks and one-liners never end. “Ferdinand” at its core is a fun film for both kids and adults. The visuals are colorful and vibrant and animations are smooth. The overall story and characters do have their problems (e.g. having scenes or characters for comedy’s sake) but those are mostly forgivable. The film never takes itself too seriously and this means that it does lack that crucial emotional core to make the film stick (don’t expect to shed a tear) but it was also a very light film designed to be enjoyable at being just that. The voice actors themselves are mostly okay. No one really stood out. Overall, “Ferdinand” has its problems but its light-natured take on an over-crowded genre does well enough to be at least worth a look.
Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- simple yet effective family movie
- vibrant and colorful visuals that entertain

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- doesn't have that critical emotional heft
- some side characters are not important to the storyline

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