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It seems like from the moment you're born, people think they've got you all figured out. Based on how you look, how you talk, where you're from... But it's not that simple, especially when it comes to me. I'm a little bit more complex... I'm Ferdinand!
   

Ferdinand is the titular main protagonist of the film, Ferdinand and of the book that the film is based on, The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf.

Ferdinand is a big bull with a big heart who would rather smell flowers than bullfight. He was mistaken for a dangerous beast and taken from his home to be made into a fighting bull.

Ferdinand is voiced by John Cena as an adult and Colin H. Murphy as a child.

Development

Ferdinand's character design took a year and a half to complete, his fur alone taking three weeks. [1]

Biography

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Plot ending or details from Ferdinand are included in this section. Click here to skip to the next section.

Days in the Casa

Ferdinand and his father, Raf, were from the Casa del Toro owned by Moreno, the latter a fighting bull. One day, while Valiente, Guapo and Bones were practicing bullfighting in a pen, Ferdinand emerges from behind a door with a bucket of water and makes his way, without getting seen or entangled in their fight, to a little red flower in the pen. He affectionately speaks to it and waters the plant gently before taking a long sniff.

A truck, which Valiente names the "Winner's truck", backs into the pen and Ferdinand asks what it is. Valiente replies with a snort, claiming that he knows nothing and proceeds to explain that the truck indicated that the matador would pick a bull to fight in Plaza de Toros. The other bulls start fighting and bragging and Bones is pushed to the ground. Concerned, Ferdinand helps him up, only for the other bull to reject his aid.

During this time, Valiente spots his flower and starts mocking him. Ferdinand is challenged to a fight but he refuses, remarking that Valiente can hit him but not the flower. Confused and taken aback, Valiente leaves.

Soon, the adult bulls charge out to display their fighting to the matador. Ferdinand and the other calves cheer for their fathers. When Ferdinand's father, Raf, wins over his father, Valiente scoffs and leaves Ferdinand's side. As they trot back to their own pen, he witnesses Valiente's father dismiss his son furiously.

Raf farewells Ferdinand

Ferdinand bids his father farewell

Ferdinand trots up to Raf gleefully and the latter greets him by tossing him onto his back. He proceeds to talk about fighting for glory in the Plaza and that one day, Ferdinand would be a better fighting bull than him. Bashfully, Ferdinand expresses his reluctance for either of them to fight and asks if he could still win without fighting, to which Raf gently tells him that he wished life would be like that for Ferdinand. He promises to return, pressing his forehead against Ferdinand's and Ferdinand watches as he boards the truck.

He returns to his pen, only to see a fuming Valiente trample his flower and leave with his father. During the rest of the day, he waits inside his pen for his father to come back but when the truck finally arrives at night, he excitingly crawls out of his pen only to find the truck empty; much to his shock and sadness. Then, Valiente's father coldly states to Ferdinand that his father was "soft" and that "the soft ones always go down," therefore, demanding his own son to "bull up" after that. Spotted outside by one of Moreno's men and afraid to end up like his father, Ferdinand escapes from Casa del Toro without hesitation and boards a cargo train headed for Seville despite the men's best attempt to catch him with a rope.

Days on the farm

After Ferdinand escapes the Casa, he finds himself alone somewhere in Seville one rainy night until he gets spooked by a distant barking he hears and tries to get further away until he slips off a muddy hill and gets knocked out as he sees two figures: a dog and a man, arriving before blacking out.

In the morning, Ferdinand wakes up to find himself inside a barn. When the door opens and he sees a small figure approaching, he gets a bit scared; thinking the figure wants to harm him. The figure is revealed to be an 8 year old girl named Nina who means him no harm. Nina realizes that Ferdinand likes flowers when he starts sniffing the flower perched on her left ear. When she allows Ferdinand to smell it and pets him gently while promising to take good care of him, Ferdinand begins to like and trust her. Then, Ferdinand is introduced to the other figures he saw last night before passing out who are revealed to be Nina's florist father, Juan and their pet dog, Paco. Nina takes Ferdinand into a field full of flowers with a cork tree at the top of a hill. Ferdinand begins to enjoy this moment as he sniffs flowers, chases a butterfly and sits next to the tree with joy.

As time goes on, Ferdinand and Nina bond as they spend plenty of time together, which includes watching television, riding through Sunflower fields, comparing their heights, rolling down the hill, dancing, and feeding each other even when Ferdinand has fully matured; much to Juan's joy and Paco's partial jealousy.

Then, one day, when getting ready to go for Flower Festival day in the village, he takes the time to greet Paco, whom he considers like a brother. At first, Ferdinand refuses to listen to Paco concerning the bad news despite his best efforts until Juan reveals the truth to Nina when Nina appears excited about taking him to the festival like every year given the fact that he's not a little calf anymore; much to Ferdinand and Nina's shock. After they leave while taking Paco in his place, Ferdinand sits by his favorite cork tree, confused as to why he can't go to the festival anymore despite his size and age. Ferdinand has a hard time making decisions about whether to go or not; knowing that if he goes, Nina will be happy leaving Juan disappointed for his disobedience but if he stays, Nina will be sad and Juan will be satisfied with his cooperation. To make things fair, Ferdinand makes a bet with himself. If an orange doesn't fall from a tree or a rock still stays in the same position by the time he counts to 3, he will go but to no avail. Finally, he tries to count to 10 before one of the chicken eggs hatches but when he notices it's about to hatch, he cheats by counting really fast and finally, goes to the festival.

Time at the festival

Ferdinand's presence provokes a small twitch of fear in everybody; given his size except for a crying baby girl who takes a sudden liking to him when he starts making faces at her in order to cheer her up. Nevertheless, Ferdinand proceeds to join up with Nina while sniffing flowers in his path. However, when he finds Nina and though she is happy to see him, she reminds him that he shouldn't be here but when Ferdinand backs away while breaking free from a clothesline, he accidentally sits on a bumblebee, which causes him to bellow so loud, run, and charge out of control like a raging, wild bull; nearly hurting everyone while destroying things in his path. Thus, scaring everyone and giving them the assumption that he is a wild, dangerous beast despite Juan's best attempt to convince them that he is actually gentle.

When the cops arrive to handle the situation, Paco tells him to get back to the farm while he holds them off but to no avail. Then, Ferdinand finds himself hiding in a China shop. Despite his best efforts to stay hidden while avoiding breaking stuff, he provokes a large sneeze when the elderly lady owner naively mistakes and uses his tail as a duster against his muzzle while cleaning dishes. This action finally gets him spotted, caught, and then shipped into a truck despite his best efforts to avoid getting in and Nina trying to convince everyone including the authorities that he is a gentle bull. As Ferdinand is driven further away, Nina, with her father and Paco in pursuit, tries to catch up with him but fails, thus, reducing her to tears and leaving her heartbroken.

Back at Casa del Toro

After a long drive, at night, Ferdinand suddenly finds himself back at Casa del Toro, the very same place he was born and ran away from when he was a calf. Ferdinand starts panicking while accidentally getting his horns stuck in the truck hole. Moreno thinks he's a beast "going out of control" and instructs one of his men to bring Lupe, the "calming goat" so as to "calm him down." Ferdinand is introduced to Lupe as she tries in vain to calm him down but to no avail until he breaks himself free and out of the truck and accidentally lands on her, which he apologizes for and helps her up, after which she is surprised by his large size.

Ferdinand tries to explain to Lupe that he needs help escaping the Casa, but she thinks he means he needs help to become a fighting bull and thinks he is simply denying the things that happened to get him sent there. Ferdinand tries to follow her and accidentally breaks down a door, after which he meets Bones, Guapo, and Valiente, who are all grown up now and are joined by Angus, a bull who can't see very well due to his long locks covering his eyes, and Maquina, a silent bull who Lupe says was cloned in a lab. He then meets Valiente who isn't at all intimidated by Ferdinand's large size, and says that it will make him look better when he beats him to a pulp inside the ring, after which he says "Welcome back, Ferdinand." and walks away, leaving Ferdinand and Lupe stunned.

Meeting the hedgehogs

Afterwards, Lupe excitedly shows Lupe the stables he is sleeping in, which is the same one from when he was a calf, and is now extremely small and cramped for him. Lupe tried to befriend Ferdinand by coughing up a flower as a symbol of their relationship, after which she falls asleep with a bucket that she lives in over her head. Ferdinand tries to sleep despite her loud snoring and is soon woken up by three hedgehogs, Una, Dos, and Cuatro, who attempt to steal their food and the flower before being spotted by Ferdinand, much to their annoyance. He initially thinks they are bugs and is fooled by them into thinking they aren’t doing anything wrong, after which he is hit in the head by Lupe's bucket as she wakes up and gets into an argument with the hedgehogs, after which the hedgehogs fall off the ledge, and into the stables, where they try to attack Ferdinand, thinking he is going to eat them.

Ferdinand explains that he isn’t going to eat them and they introduce themselves. After learning about their dead brother Tres, Ferdinand let’s the hedgehogs leave with their food (exceotthe flower, which Lupe demands stays) and gives them a lift up to the window.

After this, Ferdinand tries to sleep again, but is annoyed by Lupe's sleepwalking. He sneaks out of the barn and around to the other side of the building, where he tries to cross an electric fence but is electrocuted, after which he meets the snobby horses Hans, Klaus, and Greta, who snobbishky tell Ferdinand that he can’t cross the fence or they will alert the humans, after which they go back inside, leaving Ferdinand alone.

The Trial for El Primero

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Physical Appearance

Ferdinand Render 10

Ferdinand’s whole body

Ferdinand is the largest bull around, his hefty built giving him the appearance of a dangerous fighting bull, despite his personality demonstrating otherwise. Sporting shiny, smooth black fur, Ferdinand also has a beige snout and a pair of white horns.

He has blue eyes, surrounded by tan rings, and a small tuft of dark brown fur on the top of his head. His built, composing of a large and muscular chest and smaller rump, makes him seem like the perfect bull fighter.

When he was a calf, Ferdinand was much scrawnier and smaller. He had shorter stubby horns, slight buck teeth and large ears and often wore an excitable or depressed expression. Two short locks of fur stand on top of his head.

Personality

Ferdinand, contrary to the beliefs of others in the film, is a pacifist by nature. He enjoys calm and peaceful activities such as sniffing flowers and walking along the streets of Spain. He hates violence, which explains his aversion to bullfighting. He has been seen desperately trying to resuscitate a bunny whom he thought he had killed, which he succeeds at the end.

He is also known as even-tempered, respectful, dependable, gentle, kind, sweet, independent, adventurous, determined, courteous, soft, and thoughtful.

Ferdinand Having Wrecked the Shop

The remains of the China shop

A truly lovable bull, he exhibits his big heart and love for people, which is often displayed as adorable awkwardness, curiosity and clumsiness. Such can be seen as he peeks from behind some balloons and gazes lovingly at Nina and his constant awe and wonder at everything as he travels around Spain.

This clumsy bull goes to the flower festival in town but after getting stung by a bee, he accidentally destroys part of the town (including a local china shop).

Abilities

Ferdinand is endowed with great physical strength - being the biggest bull but, he never uses it to hurt someone, only to help others such as to lift a water troth over his head in order to water the flowers.

At various moments, his strength is also used to create a passage, like when Ferdinand goes to rescue Valiente from the slaughterhouse, he pulls the door off its hinges with his horns and opens the metal door as if it were made of paper.

Another clear demonstration of Ferdinand's strength is evident when he moves the cart with a single push so as to connect to the train heading for Seville, probably in a sudden adrenaline outlet. After that, he turns and blocks the vehicle that Moreno and his men were using to chase them with his horns and obviously, with the help of his physical strength as well.

Relationships

Nina

Who's my good boy? You're my good boy
  —Nina to Ferdinand [src]  

Raised alongside Nina, Ferdinand inevitably has a close bond with her. Ever since the girl was a child, they had been spending plenty of time together despite being a bit scared during their first encounter as a calf. This includes watching television, rolling down the hill, riding through Sunflower fields, comparing their heights, dancing, and feeding each other. Their closeness prevailed even until Ferdinand matured.

Their bond is often exhibited via physical closeness and sentiments for each other. They are virtually inseparable in their childhood and when Ferdinand was captured, both of them yelled out for each other. Nina and Ferdinand both faced sleepless nights thinking about each other, the former staring at The Cork Tree where they used to hang out.

Ferdinand, overcame with longingness, decides that Nina "needs [him]" and escaped to see her. They later reunited and greeted each other with a tight embrace. In various promotional material, Nina is seen pressing her head against Ferdinand's with her eyes closed, with her hands on his chin. This showcases their tight bond and trust of each other.

Raf

Because he was a calf that was rejected and had no closeness at first with Guapo, Valiente and Bones, Raf was the only one who really approached Ferdinand as a friend and as his father.

Ferdinand showed concern for his father in relation to him to fight against the matador, but Raf assured him that he would return and so Ferdinand did not sleep waiting for his father to return.

When the truck that took him, returns, he excitedly waits for him, but when he discovers that his father was defeated, saddened, he escapes from there.

Valiente

Since the time they were calves, Ferdinand and Valiente had no close friendship and Ferdinand was often Valiente's main target for bullying given his pacifist nature and despite bullying others like Guapo and Bones.

Valiente would often call him "flower bull" and threaten to smash his flower in order to challenge him to a fight, which Ferdinand refused and chose to allow to hit him rather than the flower; an act which confused Valiente and the others. Nevertheless, when Valiente's father wasn't picked to fight the matador, he ended up stomping Ferdinand's flower after all.

Later, at night, when he found out that Ferdinand's father didn't return from a fight, Valiente somewhat showed remorse to Ferdinand in his facial expression but then refrained from it when his own father asked him to bull up before Ferdinand decided to run away.

2 years later, after Ferdinand was unfortunately sent back due to an accident and misunderstanding back in his home town, though fully matured, Valiente still continued to show animosity of Ferdinand. The next day, Valiente threatened to hurt him during a trial for El Primero before being interrupted by Guapo's interference. After Ferdinand unintentionally caused an embarrassment for everyone when trying to help Guapo up due to fainting, Valiente continued referring to Ferdinand as "the same, scare little coward he always was." Then, when Ferdinand was concerned about Guapo being sent to the chop house, Valiente warned him that things have changed since he ran away and that now, bulls are either fighters or meat while referring to him as meat as he walks away.

The next day, after Ferdinand embarrassed himself when trying to avoid hitting a Bunny and then getting a carrot thrown on his face, Valiente proceeded to mock him even more. Later, after the bulls won a dance-off against some horses, Valiente warned everyone that unless they resume training, they will end up in the chop house as well and refused to listen to Ferdinand's reason as to why they sent him back in the first place.

At night, after Ferdinand found out the truth about the bullfights when trying to escape, Valiente refused to listen to him and challenged him to a fight, which eventually got him to losing his right horn then getting sent to the chop house and Ferdinand selected by El Primero.

Though their relationship was rocky, Ferdinand was still determined to save Valiente but the latter still refused to join him; given his state. Preferring to face his destiny rather than to follow his own as suggested by Ferdinad, he told him to leave him. However, when Guapo, still being alive, was close to sudden death, Valiente suddenly and unexpected rushed in to help Ferdinand save him, revealing that he has had a change of heart, which has put him on friendlier terms with Ferdinand and later, everyone else.

Memorable Quotes

By Ferdinand

I'm not gonna fight you, Valiente.
  —Ferdinand refuse Valiente to fighting [src]  
You can hit me if you want. But leave the flower alone.
  —To Valiente threatening to fight him [src]  
Can I be a champ without fighting, maybe?
  —To his father [src]  
I'm not a fighting bull.
  —To Una [src]  
Nina needs me. I'm getting out of this place. And I'm not leaving anyone behind.
  —To himself [src]  
The tail don't lie, brother.
  —To Paco [src]  

About Ferdinand

Built to Fight. Born to Love
  —Official film tagline [src]  
People think [Ferdinand's] a big fighter because he's a big bull. He's a big guy, but he's really got a heart of gold.
  —Cena, about Ferdinand [2]  

Trivia

  • In a french Ferdinand Facebook postit is told that Ferdinand weights 1500 kg, 500 kg being muscles and 1000 kg love to give. However, Ferdinand describes himself as a 2000 lb heavy feather at the China Shop in the film.
  • When Valiente asks Guapo "What? What's the problem?" after Guapo notices his missing horn, Ferdinand is nowhere to be found behind him. This is most likely an animation error.
  • Ferdinand is the fourth Blue Sky Studios animal character to be a protagonist, after Manny from Ice Age, Rodney Copperbottom from Robots, Horton the Elephant from Horton Hears a Who!, and Blu from Rio.
  • His name means protection in German.
  • Ferdinand is named Ferdinand from birth, when he was being raised at Casa Del Toro. He then runs away and is adopted by a new family, but somehow Nina knows his name, yet he was not wearing any identification tags and he clearly couldn't speak to the humans to tell them this.
  • Ferdinand is approximately twenty-two years old in human years.

Gallery

Ferdinand The Ferdinand Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Ferdinand (character).


References

  1. Ferdinand's hair took about 3 weeks to perfect! His character all-together? A year and a half! #AskAnArtist. (November 21, 2017). [Twitter.
  2. @FerdinandMovie. Did you see John Cena on Today Show? See the Love-a-BULL classic come to life when #Ferdinand arrives in theaters this Christmas.. Facebook. Retrieved June 5, 2017.

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