Run time: 106 mins
His name is John Cena, the WWE superstar and now Hollywood go-to actor for physical comedy and deadpan delivery. And now he’s voicing a bull.
This gently subversive Madrid-set feature from animation studio Blue Sky (Ice Age, Rio) follows an adorable, flower-sniffing bull named Ferdinand (Cena). “Is it OK if that’s not my dream?” the baby bull asks his father of fighting. When he discovers that he has no choice, Ferdinand scarpers, hoofing it to a flower farm, where he befriends a human girl and her shaggy sheepdog. Ferdinand’s passivity (and flower obsession) isn’t explicitly coded as queer, though the film hints that this might be…
When Ferdinand’s trying to inch his way around a gorgeous pueblo in the midst of its annual flower festival. Striking terror into all who see him, he retreats inside a doorway, only to find himself in any anxious bull‘s equivalent of Room 101. A china shop. The tip-toeing gymnastics that follow are like a top-notch short you could watch on repeat. The visual gag is such an obvious yet genius blend of tropes, it is worth the film alone. (research Jack Whiting) But come and watch it all. It might be the first transgender bull-in-a-chinashop kids tale you’ll see this year.