The movie, Ferdinand, produced by Blue Sky Studios, is based on the book, The Story of Ferdinand by Munroe Leaf.
Ferdinand is a story about a friendly bull named Ferdinand and his opposition to bullfighting. Through this exciting, colourful and fun movie many themes are explored including how we exploit animals and whether or not it is okay.
In the movie Ferdinand, Ferdinand is taken from his home (a flower farm) to return to the place he grew up, Casa del Toro (House of the Bulls) where he is trained to fight. If he is shown to be a good fighter, he will be sent to the bull ring and slain by a Matador in front of hundreds for entertainment. If he is shown to be an unsuccessful fighter, he will be sent to the “chop house” and turned into meat. Ferdinand brings light to the industries that exploit animals. It shows the humanity of Ferdinand and we begin rooting for him. Even the biggest lovers of entertainment of this kind want him to beat the system and survive. Ferdinand shows that animals are sentient and that harming them is not okay. Society tells us that humans have the right to use non-human animals for our own purposes. Animal cruelty is a multi-billion dollar industry. Ferdinand takes a different look at this glorified massacre. If I were to ask you if you could torture and kill an innocent animal, the answer I’m hoping would be no. Of coarse you wouldn’t. It’s immoral and wrong. However, whenever you give money to the meat industry or any other industry that profits off of suffering, that’s exactly what you are paying to happen. Most humans view themselves as somehow “higher” or more important than all other animals. If Ferdinand were human, the abuse he suffers would be a crime. Yet, because he is a bull, his exploitation and harm is legal and is tolerated or even enjoyed. Bullfighting continues to happen in many countries, including New Zealand. According to one of the bulls, Valiente “That’s the way it is. Either you’re a fighter, or you’re meat.” Everyone watching Ferdinand will agree that the bullfighters had no right to harm Ferdinand and kill his father – and yet, despite how wrong it feels during the movie. Despite how emotional it makes many people. Despite the fact that I’ve heard people tell me they cried during it, the thought that animal exploitation is wrong rarely has translated into real life. The same people who cried during Ferdinand are the ones paying for his mistreatment. People continue to choose to benefit from animal exploitation – through entertainment, clothing, cosmetic products, food, ect. I believe that everyone should re-evaluate their beliefs about the mistreatment of animals after this film and decide whether they are going to continue rewarding companies for the harm they cause to animals, or help end the harm of these sentient creatures.