Ferdinand – 4K UHD Review

Ferdinand is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film that was produced by Blue Sky Studios, Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Animation. The film is based on Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson’s children’s book titled The Story of Ferdinand, written by Robert L. Baird, Tim Federle, and Brad Copeland and was directed by Carlos Saldanha. The film features the voice of John Cena as the titular role, along with Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Cannavale, Peyton Manning, Gina Rodriguez, David Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, Miguel Angel Sylvestre, and David Tennant. The story, written by Ron Burch, David Kidd, and Don Rhymer, follows a gentle pacifist bull named Ferdinand who refuses to participate in bullfighting but is forced back into the arena where his beliefs are challenged by being faced off against the world’s greatest bullfighter.

Ferdinand premiered on December 8, 2017 at the Dubai International Film Festival and was theatrically released in the United States on December 15, 2017, in 3D and 2D by 20th Century Fox. It has grossed $293 million worldwide against a production budget of $111 million. The film has received generally positive reviews from film critics who particularly praised John Cena’s vocal performance. Ferdinand received a nomination for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards while also receiving nominations for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (Home) at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.

The Film Itself (4/5):

Ferdinand is a movie that is certainly geared more toward younger audiences.  Providing a storyline that does a pretty decent job at basically conveying the fact that there is more to life than we ultimately think and that we should really “stop and smell the roses” so to say.  Delivering that message with a very soft performance from the WWE Superstar and ensemble cast, the story takes the fact that there could be really, really young children watching and does a great job at not putting a lot of emphasis on the more strenuous moments that the characters go through.  There’s a nice mixture of humor, puns, and variety that will allow for parental figures to be able to follow along; however it doesn’t really perform itself like some of the more notable animated features like your more respectable Disney or Universal children’s films.  I think one of my personal favorite scenes that played out was the one that included the three horses as that trio and the group of bulls would try to out-do each other in the dance competition.  I’m not quite sure what it was about that scene, but it was enough to make me smile and I have to definitely pass along the appreciation for that.

Picture Quality (4/5):

Presented in 2106p with HDR 10, Ferdinand is considered to be a “fake 4K” release as it is definitely an upscaled release due to the fact that computer generated films like this can only be rendered at 2K at this point in time.  However, the overall utilization of HDR throughout this film offers a really beautifully presented visual display that is considerably pleasing to the eye.  Giving audiences a bright and vivid color palette, the production team that performed the HDR pass on this release made sure to accentuate even the smallest amount of detail to really make this release shine.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Surprisingly enough, Ferdinand comes packaged with a Dolby Atmos audio track.  Offering an all out immersive experience for viewers who are setup to make use of the technology and enjoy that elevation aspect, this movie does a really great job at placing the viewers right into the middle of the story at hand; which is something that is great for those of us that have children.  The musical accompaniment that came with this film was entertaining and offered the occasional laugh as the story progresses along, and the overall dialogue throughout the film was considerably clean and offered no distortion that I could personally hear at all.  In fact, I think the included audio track was perfect as my five-month-old son paid more attention to this movie than he had previously done with any movies that I’ve watched since we brought him home from the hospital as he’s sat on my lap; and, something like that is definitely a winner in my book!

The Packaging (3/5):

The 4K UHD release of Ferdinand comes packaged in your standard two-disc 4K UHD amaray case.  Within that case is the standard 4K UHD copy of the film as well as the standard Blu-ray copy of the film.  Neither of the discs feature any artwork that’s relative to the film outside of the standard release text that’s used to identify the disc within your collection and the standard black or blue background color for either disc respectively.  A digital copy redemption pamphlet has been included with this release to allow customers to make use of streaming options as well as a slipcover that’s been provided during the initial print run that features the same piece of artwork that is provided on the case art.

 

Special Features (2.5/5):

Unfortunately, Ferdinand is just like any other standard 4K UHD release in that the special features are only made available on the included Blu-ray copy of the film.  The content that is available with this release, just like the film, is definitely more geared to its demographic of younger children as additional activities for them to enjoy.  Included with this release is:

  • Ferdinand’s Team Supreme
  • “Home” Nick Jonas Music Video
  • Creating A Remarka-Bull Song
  • Learn To Dance With Ferdinand
  • Ferdinand’s Do-It-Yourself Flower Garden
  • And More!

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

French: DTS 5.1

Spanish: DTS 5.1

Danish: DTS 5.1

Dutch: DTS 5.1

Finnish: DTS 5.1

German: DTS 5.1

Italian: DTS 5.1

Norwegian: DTS 5.1

Swedish: DTS 5.1

Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1

Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1

Flemish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles

English SDH, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish (less)

Runtime

Original Film: 108 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Generally speaking, Ferdinand wasn’t completely horrible.  The story that was given was good and wholesome and certainly great for kids.  Like I said, my five-month-old had his eyes glued to the television as I watched it last night.  The visual quality, while it looked really nice with its use of HDR, I feel isn’t really worth the extra few dollars to grab the 4K and I would only recommend grabbing the standard Blu-ray copy of the movie if you too have kids.  Ferdinand was released onto 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on March 13!

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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