This Boxing Day, a new movie is charging into cinemas, based on a book that many of us will remember from our childhood – The Story of Ferdinand the Bull. For those unfamiliar, the movie FERDINAND will tell the story of a giant bull with an even bigger heart.

After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, Ferdinand (voiced by John Cena), who lives a peaceful life on a flower farm, is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure filled with excitement and fun. Set in the fabulously colourful world of modern day Spain, Ferdinand proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.

When Spain’s champion matador sees how big and fierce looking Ferdinand is, he tries to force him to fight. Determined to stay true to himself, Ferdinand relies on new friends, a hilariously quirky and loud ‘calming’ goat, Lupe and three crazy hedgehogs, Una, Dos and Cuatro (“We must not speak of Tres!”). The bright, colourful animation goes far beyond the book’s ink illustrations, and it’s safe to expect lots more humour with lots more heart. But overall Ferdinand is a heart-warming and funny movie that kids and families will love.

There are lessons as big and bold as Ferdinand the bull to be learnt, the power that comes from being yourself, the importance of family and friendships, and that love can come in all shapes and sizes. Ferdinand already holds a lot of love in his heart, but this movie helps him learn how to share it with those he loves.

Ferdinand has also had a strong influence on the friendships developing in the classroom. While holding hands is a sign of friendship, there are many other acts of friendship we can think of. These often include being there for each other when they are sad, taking care of someone who is lonely and upset, and working as a team. Many examples of these acts of behaviour are reflected in Ferdinand, and it is a must-see movie, largely because it displays a crucial message.

Young readers were drawn to the Story of Ferdinand early on in their reading lives as they were understood, entertained, and cared for all at once. The books gave a feeling of friendship between mates, or the desire to be kinder that day, the kind of connection everyone should have with at least one book in their life. The movie successfully translates this celebration of friendship, of the love that’s often hiding under the surface, and that often, following your own path leads to the most exciting adventure. While Ferdinand may look like a terrifying raging bull, he turns out to be a kind and caring gentle giant.

1. Ferdinand is giant bull with a big heart. Viewed as a fierce beast by most, but his true pleasures are simple — a light breeze, a nice flower and the cool shade of a cork tree. What are three things people wouldn’t know about you by simply looking at you?

2. After being captured, Ferdinand rallies a misfit team of friends (Lupe, Uno, Dos and Cuatro) to help him get home. Think of things you can do that no one else can; what makes you happy; what are you really good at? Make a of three things list for one of your friends and one family member – what makes them unique and special?”

3. On an A4 piece of paper draw a picture of one thing that makes you incrediBULL. Send it to Kiwi Kids News – [email protected] and go in the draw to one of our prize packs. For details and closing dates see our homework page.

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