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Ferdinand the Bull (1938)

Little Ferdinand the bull is stung by a bumblebee when men come to pick a bull for a fight. When he gets in the arena, all he cares about are the flowers in the matador's hands.

Director:

Dick Rickard (uncredited)

Writers:

Munro Leaf (story), Robert Lawson (story)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Don Wilson ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

Little Ferdinand would much rather smell the flowers than butt heads with the other cows. When the men come to choose the bull for the fight, Ferdinand accidentally sits on a bumblebee. The men see him dash around madly, so they pick Ferdinand. Comes the bullfight, and all Ferdinand cares about is the bouquet of flowers a woman tossed to the matador. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of Ferdinand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the only Oscar winner for Best Short Subject (Cartoon) from the 1930s that was not a Silly Symphony. See more »

Quotes

Matador: Whassa matta with you, you crazy bull? Fight!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in AniMat's Crazy Cartoon Cast: Grover Said WHAT?!? (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Ferdinand The Bull
Written by Larry Morey and Albert Hay Malotte
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Would've been Stratospherically More Poignant and Richer Had Frederic Back Made 'Ferdinand the Bull', but Disney Does Manage to Make the Short Entertaining Enough
3 November 2012 | by sashank_kini-1See all my reviews

There is some historical significance associated with the story of Ferdinand the Bull as the Spanish Civil War is said to have begun a few months after the story of Ferdinand was written. The domestic harmless nature of the bull is said to represent pacifistic views towards the situation in Spain. Munro Leaf may have partly been influenced by the political climate around him while writing about Ferdinand, but this remains uncertain.

The 1938 short by Disney does not consider all this, and is more concerned with showing Ferdinand's love for flowers. Ferdinand does not care about bull fights unlike his fellow bulls, and prefers reclining under his favorite tree, inhaling the sweet fragrance of the flowers. His mother, despite being a 'cow' is very considerate and allows him to do as he likes. But after a bee accident, Ferdinand is thought to be the most ferocious of bulls and is brought to the bull fight. His name too changes to 'Ferdinand the Fierce' for the event; everyone including the bullfighter is scared of him and they anticipate his grand entry. What happens after this surprises everyone in the story but now us because we already know how Ferdinand actually is.

This story would have been stratospherically more poignant and rich had auteur Frederic Back made it; remember how he beautifully used the chair as a motif while showing the rapid transformation of Quebec society in his brilliant short 'Crac'. Ferdinand the Bull would have got that flavor of Spain had Back made this film; however, Disney does enough justice to make this film watchable and enjoyable. Ferdinand the Bull hence does not wow us but it does bring a smile upon our faces, which is Disney's primary aim.

Verdict: Would have been stratospherically more poignant and richer had Frederic Back made 'Ferdinand the Bull', but Disney does manage to make the short entertaining enough


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