(On Cable TV, February 2019) Considering that I’m usually game to watch any kind of animated movie, I took a surprisingly long time to make my way to Ferdinand, a talking-animal comedy about a bull destined to a matador bout. That’s not exactly the most heartwarming premise for a film, but it does work. The key is in making the title character as nonviolent a protagonist as possible, and surrounding him with oddball characters. By the time we have a car chase throughout Spanish highways and city streets, we’re in very familiar, very funny territory. The film may be by-the-numbers in overall plot terms, but what makes it shine are the comic details and supporting players. Who cares if the formula is followed as long as we get plenty of chuckles along the way? (I’m still giggling over the arrogant horses calling Ferdinand a “silly moo-moo”.) John Cena is featured as the title bull, but Kate McKinnon predictably steals the show through her hilarious goat character. It may not be a great, classic or groundbreaking movie, but Ferdinand is up to what we’ve come to expect from contemporary animated movies.