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Ferdinand - The movie

Ferdinand the film

Original title: Ferdinand
Directed by:
Carlos Saldanha, Cathy Malkasian, Jeff McGrath
Characters: Ferdinand, Valiente, Angus, Lupe, Guapo, Una, Dos, El Primero, Bones, Tall Nun, Moreno, Cuatro, Klaus, Greta, Hans, Paco, Nina, Isabella
Production: Blue sky studios

Distribution: 20th Century Fox
Exit date: 21 December 2017 at the cinema
Gender: Animation, Comedy
Duration: 106 minutes
Recommended age: Children from 6 to 12 years old


Ferdinand tells the story of a large bull who also has a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous animal, he is captured and taken away from his home. Determined to return to his family, Ferdinand assembles a squad of marginalized animals to embark on the long journey home. Appearances can be deceiving when faced with a huge bull ....

Directed by Oscar-nominated director Carlos Saldanha, best known for directing three films from theice Age and the two feature films by Rio , Ferdinand follows the adventures of a peace-loving bull (voiced by John Cena), who is separated from the loving farmer and daughter Nina, who have adopted him after being mistaken for a ferocious beast. Along the way, the generous bull befriends many maladjusted animals and somehow changes their lives. In the exciting central point of the film, Ferdinand must face the matador El Primero in an arena full of people, but he remains true to his peaceful nature and thus also inspires everyone around him.

The word to the director

The project to bring Ferdinand's story to the big screen began more than six years ago, when Saldanha was still working on Rio 2. "I was very excited when I found out that Fox and Blue Sky were thinking about developing a film based on the book, "Remember. "I had read the book and fell in love with the story and its wonderful message of acceptance of diversity. I thought this was the right time to take this beautiful book and develop it into a family movie for today's audience. "

For Lori Forte, the longtime producer of Blue Sky Studios, the film offered the chance to reunite with director Saldanha, who had worked with her on the first three Ice Age films. "Carlos wanted to work on a film that featured a bull", remember. "I enjoyed working with him on Ice Age movies and missed him terribly. I knew he was passionate about this project, and his strong feelings for the story and its message inspired me and everyone else around him. ".

As both the book and the film are set in colorful and historical locations in Spain, Saldanha and her team took a special trip to the country to seek visual inspiration and authentic backgrounds for their project. "We were inspired by the beauty of the landscapes and the unique architecture of Spain"says the director."The color palette of the film has many earth tones, and is very different from the tropical colors we used in the Rio films. We admired the magnificent architecture of some cities and traveled south to the delightful region of Andalusia ".

The mountainous town of Ronda in the Spanish province of Malaga inspired the location of the farm where Ferdinand finds happiness with young girl Nina and her father. "We wanted art to reflect the beauty of this world"explains Saldanha."We wanted the locations to express the possibilities of an animated film, but also be true to the art, history and culture of Spain".

A marriage of art and technology

Thanks to the latest advancements in CG technology, Blue Sky's artists and engineering teams have been able to deliver animation with meticulous attention to detail - from every blade of grass on the field, to the texture of a matador's cape, to the play of light and shadow in the Andalusian landscape.

"Every year we develop new versions of Blue Sky's proprietary rendering software (CGI Studio)"explains Saldanha."We made the best use of technology to make a great artistic impression. Ferdinand is not a movie with huge special effects. Our goal was to make the best use of technology to create the right look that helps serve the art direction and lighting. Everything has been meticulously traced and looks beautiful. The team was able to solve complex challenges even in the representation of crowd scenes. They were able to pull it off in a very precise way, so that the technology isn't blatantly noticeable on the screen. "

Beautiful colors and dynamic designs

Art director Thomas Cardone ( Rio 2 , Ortone and the world of Chi , Ice Age 2 - The thaw ) says that when people talk about Ferdinand everyone seems to remember two basic things about the story. "Everyone says, 'Oh yeah, this is the movie about the bull who just wants to smell flowers and doesn't want to fight'", points out. "I found the project instantly captivating because it's a big story with few characters, so you can create this intimate feeling. It's not a movie where someone has to save the world, but it's a story with a lot of heart."

Cardone notes that character designer Sang Jun Lee invented the philosophy for studying the physical appearance of Ferdinand, born from the personality of the friendly bull. "It has the good-natured and generous character for it is very large, but it is also with many soft curves"he explains."Ferdinand is a large black bull and there are no markings or costumes, so his silhouette and overall shape were very important. It is also on screen in most of the frames in the film, we put a lot of effort into really understanding its shape and the way it moves and is positioned throughout the film. ".

The specific landscapes of the southern region of Spain and its flora and fauna played an important role in inspiring the design principle of the film. "The rolling hills, the olive trees, all those sweeping curves were in harmony with Ferdinand's soft curves", explains Cardone."Anything that opposes him is more angular and vertical - like man-made structures. The same goes for his opponent, the matador. Humans are skinny and taller than they would be in real life, and that dictated the height of buildings, doors, cars ... all around them. Our two main characters really influenced the whole form and style of the film. "

Ferdinand's inner emotions are also reflected in the choice of background positions. As Cardone explains, the farm of Ronda, the heroic bull who wishes to return, is depicted as a green and happy place, with many flowers and greenery. "But the bull where he is imprisoned is in search of arid lands, which are also found in Spain during the most severe seasons.", he observes.

The region's white stucco buildings with their terracotta roofs also offer a neutral backdrop against which artists played with memorable splashes of color. "We inserted bold colors, such as a bright blue wheelbarrow, a turquoise bucket, or a green farm tool, against the neutral canvas", Cardone recalls."We also wanted to balance the compositions with animals of different colors. The red color was especially reserved for specific key moments, such as Ferdinand's favorite poppies on the farm, or carnations in the arena, or the matador's cloak. "

One of Cardone's favorite scenes is the sequence where Ferdinand faces El Primero in the ring. "I love the lighting and the drama of this scene", he observes."The staging is very important to us, and we worked hard to bring out the light and shadow values ​​in that sequence. The fight takes place in the afternoon, so half of the stadium is illuminated and the other half is in the shade. Ferdinand is dark against the light background, while the matador is light against the dark. It really amplifies the emotions and really sets the scene apart. "

The art director points out that all the artistic elements work well together to convey the film's heartfelt message. He concludes, "I think this film has such a big heart, so I was very happy with the way the style, the design, the lighting and all the technical elements come together to achieve a common goal."

Images from the animated film Ferdinand

Ferdinand the film Ferdinand, Nina, Lupe the goat

Ferdinand the filmFerdinand in the porcelain shop

Ferdinand the film Ferdinand the bull and Lupe the goat

Ferdinand the filmFerdinand the bull, Lupe the goat and Una, Dos and Cuatro the porcupines

Ferdinand the filmFerdinand, Angus, Bones, Lupe, Valiente


All names, images and registered trademarks are copyright Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Fox and those entitled to them are used here exclusively for information and disclosure purposes.

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