Ferdinand – a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

December 12, 2017 by Roz Tarszisz
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If you are looking for some respite from the heat during the l-o-n-g school and kindy holidays, then by all means, take your little ones to this latest animated outing. Just don’t expect anything new.

Ferdinand (voiced by John Cena) is a giant bull with a big heart. He’s more pet than pawing beast. When he is torn way from his home to a bull farm to be prepared to fight in the bullring, he is determined to return to his, mostly human, family.

Along the way, he assembles a motely crew to accompany him.

While the giant bull is cute with a heart as big as WA, my accompanying 3.5year old was most taken with Nina (Lily Day) – Ferdinand’s human BFF.  I rather liked Lupe (Kate McKinnon), a cynical snaggle-toothed goat who gets some of the best lines.  Lupe appoints herself Ferdinand’s life coach and attempts to teach him the realities of life.  I guess I must like cynical more than cute.

Trouble is, the big guy is a complete softie, incapable of so much as stepping on a flower.  Much is made of his lack of desire to fight and do what is expected of a bull, particularly one of his size.

When he learns what happens to the bulls who don’t get picked for the ring, he is determined to make a break for it.

It’s what you might expect from the team who brought you Rio and Ice Age. Lots of action, a road trip, jokes, a soupcon of cynicism for the oldies, plus homilies about looking after your friends and being true to yourself. Nothing wrong with that.

The scenes in the (closed) meat factory are glossed over so they are funny rather than yucky but older children might get the point better.

It’s 75 years since the book on which the film is based came out but its themes are timeless.

Perfect holiday fodder for small folk…and their minders.

3/5   106mins Opening December 14   Rated G (very mild themes and coarse language)

Stars John Cena, Kate McKinnon

Directed by Carlos Saldanha

Based on the book Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Screenplay by Ron Burch, David Kidd, Don Rhymer, Robert L.Baird, Tim Federle, Brad Copeland

Music by John Powell

 

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