14 user 7 critic

Ferdinand the Bull (1938)

Ferdinand is a quiet, gentle bull who only wants to stop and smell the flowers. When he is stung by a bee, the townspeople believe he is ferocious and take him to the bullfight.


Dick Rickard (uncredited)


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




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


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


Ferdinand only wants to stop and smell the flowers.


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Snow White allegedly makes a cameo appearance, seen on the stairs and throwing the bullfighter the flowers. However she doesn't at all look like Snow White in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). See more »


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


Featured in The Mouse Factory: Bullfighting (1972) See more »


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

User Reviews

A wonderful cartoon for all ages.
24 May 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorite stories from childhood and this Disney cartoon did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of the classic Muro Leaf story. The 1939 Oscars were a particularly good year, with Disney receiving 4 of 5 nominations in the category of Best Cartoon and receiving the award for FERDINAND--beating out such Disney classics as THE BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR and GOOD SCOUTS.

The film is about a gentle bull in Spain who has no interest in fighting. Instead, he'd rather just sit and smell the flowers all day. However, when men come looking for fierce bulls for the bullfighting ring, they think Ferdinand is the meanest bull because he was just stung by a bee. What happens next you'll need to see for yourself.

There is a lot to like about this cartoon. The artwork, though not exactly in the style of the children's book, is pretty close and is among the better animated shorts Disney did in the era. If you compare the artwork, music and quality to fare from Fleischer, Warner Brothers and MGM at the same time, it is light-years ahead. The best cartoons at that time were clearly Disney--with MGM and Warner Brothers still making saccharine-sweet cartoons with second-rate animation until the 1940s (when these two studios became the best maker of cartoon shorts). This film just screams "quality" throughout and deserved the Oscar.

By the way, get a load of the Cork Tree! Ha!

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Official Sites:

Official site





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


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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