Ferdinand (2017) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • After Ferdinand, a bull with a big heart, is 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.

  • Destined to become a fearless fighting bull, the young pacifist and flower-loving calf, Ferdinand, summons up the courage to escape from a Spanish bull-training camp, to finally find himself on little Nina's idyllic and fragrant farm. However, an unfortunate run-in with a busy golden bee will send the immense but peaceful animal back to the old Casa del Toro academy, where the famous matador, El Primero, usually selects his worthy bovine opponents for the arena. Does Ferdinand hide a fierce champion underneath a mountain of muscles, or is he a gentle giant after all?

  • Young Ferdinand does not enjoy butting heads with other young bulls, preferring instead to lie under a cork tree smelling the flowers. His mother is concerned that he might be lonely and tries to persuade him to play with the other calves, but when she sees that Ferdinand is content as he is, she leaves him alone..

  • 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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • This animated film based on a popular children's books, opens in Spain, on a bull-training ranch called Casa Del Toro. Three young calves wait to see which of the older bulls will get picked to fight a matador. Little Ferdinand (voice of Colin H. Murphy) tends to a rose that he has planted in the field. He gets picked on by the other calves, but mostly by Valiente (voice of Jack Gore), and his buddies Guapo (voice of Jet Jurgensmeyer) and Bones (voice of Nile Diaz). The calves watch as the older bulls, which include Ferdinand and Valiente's fathers, start to fight for victory. The matador chooses Ferdinand's dad (voice of Jeremy Sisto). The bull says goodbye to his son, while Valiente's own dad coldly dismisses him. Valiente then stomps on Ferdinand's flower out of spite.

    Later on, Ferdinand sees the truck that took his dad come back, but he's not in it. Ferdinand realizes something must have happened to him. Heartbroken, Ferdinand runs away from the ranch and escapes his captors until he ends up lost. He is found by a florist named Juan (voice of Juanes) and his dog Paco (voice of Jerrod Carmichael). They bring Ferdinand home to Juan's daughter Nina (Lily Day), who immediately forms a bond with Ferdinand when she sees that he loves flowers. Nina raises Ferdinand as her pet and best friend, to Paco's annoyance.

    Ferdinand (now voiced by John Cena) grows into a very big bull, but is still gentle and friendly. He thinks of Paco like a brother, but the dog won't admit it despite his tail wagging whenever Ferdinand calls him a brother.

    Juan and Nina are preparing to go to an annual flower festival in town, but they can't bring Ferdinand because he's too big. After they leave, Ferdinand decides on his own to go to the flower festival anyway. When he gets into town, the other people are scared when they see him walking around. Nina sees him and is excited, until Ferdinand gets stung on the butt by a bee, causing him to yell in pain and make the others think he's attacking. He runs around in a panicked frenzy, alerting authorities. He hides in a china shop (of all places) and nearly evades capture until he sneezes and makes a mess. Ferdinand gets taken in, and Nina sadly watches him go.

    Ferdinand is brought back to Casa Del Toro where he meets a coaching goat named Lupe (voice of Kate McKinnon). She takes him to the bulls he knew as calves, now all grown up. In addition to Valiente (now voiced by Bobby Cannavale), Guapo (now voiced by Peyton Manning), and Bones (now played by Anthony Anderson), there is the Scottish bull Angus (voice of David Tennant) who can't see past the hair blocking his eyes and the quiet but tough Maquina (voice of Tim Nordquist), who is said to have been made in a lab. Guapo and Bones are surprised by how much Ferdinand has grown, but Valiente is still a jerk who wants to fight and beat Ferdinand.

    Lupe brings Ferdinand to his stable where he meets three mischievous hedgehogs - Una (voice of Gina Rodriguez), Dos (voice of Daveed Diggs), and Cuatro (voice of Gabriel Iglesias). Although Ferdinand frightens them at first, he shows he is a nice guy, and they warm up to him. Ferdinand also later meets three snooty German horses - Hans (voice of Flula Borg), Greta (voice of Sally Phillips), and Klaus (voice of Boris Kodjoe) - who mock the bulls for being stinky and not as well-groomed.

    The next day, the ranch is visited by a popular but smug bullfighter named El Primero (voice of Miguel Angel Silvestre). He is there to pick out the toughest bull so that he can fight them in the ring for what is set to be his final fight. Valiente is confident that he will get picked once he beats the others. The bulls are set into the ring, but Ferdinand holds them up because he refuses to fight. Guapo gets way too nervous, Angus can't see, and Bones is too small. El Primero expresses his disappointment and disgust with the bulls. Later, Guapo is loaded into a truck, thinking that El Primero picked him, but the other bulls see he is being taken to a nearby slaughterhouse. Valiente tells Ferdinand if he's not a fighter, he just becomes meat.

    Ferdinand gradually starts to earn respect from the other bulls. He helps Angus see by licking his hair up and later has a dance-off with Angus, Maquina, and Bones against the horses, which results in the horses getting shocked by the electric fence and being humiliated. Valiente is the only one who remains disdainful of Ferdinand. He eventually picks a fight with Ferdinand and continues to antagonize him, calling him a coward for refusing to fight. Ferdinand defends himself, and one of Valiente's horns gets broken off. El Primero is impressed by Ferdinand and selects him as the fighter. Valiente is sent to the slaughterhouse.

    Ferdinand decides to break out and return to the farm to be with Nina. He convinces Lupe to help him so that she can feel loved like he is. With help from the hedgehogs, Ferdinand and Lupe attempt to sneak out of the ranch through the main house, but Ferdinand passes a wall with a picture of his father and his horns mounted on it. In fact, the whole wall has horns of bulls sent to fight. Ferdinand realizes that no matter what, bulls are destined to die in the ring or in the slaughterhouse. Before they leave, Ferdinand decides to break out the other bulls. He even heads to the slaughterhouse to save Valiente and Guapo. They end up activating the mechanisms that almost kill them, but they break free, and Valiente is officially on Ferdinand's side.

    The animals hijack the rancher's truck and head into town. El Primero threatens the ranch owner, Moreno (voice of Raul Esparza), forcing him and his fellow ranchers to chase after the animals. They run through town and cause chaos, but they come across a train yard and head to freedom. The bulls push a small cart to connect to the train, but Ferdinand stays behind to make sure everyone gets on. He is found by the ranchers and is taken.

    News of Ferdinand being taken to fight El Primero makes its way around Spain. Juan and Paco see it on TV, and Juan goes to get Nina so they can save Ferdinand.

    A huge crowd gathers at the arena to watch the fight. Lupe (who stayed behind and was taken with Ferdinand) tries to convince Ferdinand to fight for his survival. Ferdinand is forced out into the ring and poked by the workers so that he can fight. He doesn't attempt to give a good fight, but he ends up hitting El Primero into the wall. Enraged, the matador tries to attack Ferdinand with banderillas, cutting Ferdinand's shoulder. He picks El Primero by the horns and stares into his eyes, apparently frightening the matador, but Ferdinand lets him down after seeing a rose that fell on the field, which brings him back to the tranquility he felt on the farm with Nina. El Primero prepares to slay Ferdinand, but he hesitates as the bull resigns himself. The rest of the audience yells at El Primero to let Ferdinand live, just as Nina and her father arrive. El Primero spares Ferdinand and leaves with his dignity intact. Nina rushes onto the field to embrace Ferdinand, and the other bulls show up as well.

    Ferdinand and his friends are brought to the farm. Nina sees Lupe and calls her adorable, making Lupe feel truly loved for the first time. Ferdinand and his friends then go by his favorite tree and flower field to watch the sunset.

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