Ferdinand is a bull of great and frightening appearance, but contrary to what his appearance says, he is sweet, calm and pacifist by nature.A truly lovable bull, he exhibits his big heart and love for people, which is often displayed as adorable awkwardness, curiosity and clumsiness.
- Actual Pacifist: His defining character trait is that he will not fight. When attacked or insulted, he'll not fight back, even if his own life is at stake, and instead he'll try to escape or look for a peaceful resolution. The closest he gets to actually fighting back is locking horns with Valiente when the latter insists on attacking him, and even then Ferdinand is still trying to cool him down.
- Adorkable: A kind-hearted, inexperienced bull who loves flowers.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ferdinand may be a Gentle Giant, but he's still a big, powerful bull who you really shouldn't mess with. When Valiente locks horns with him, Ferdinand breaks one of them off with barely any effort (while simply defending himself, no less), and when his is pushed to his limits by El Primero, he lifts him up with his horns, inches away from losing his temper completely, before catching himself.
- Brutish Bulls: Humorously and conspicuously inverted: Ferdinand fits the usual physical stereotypes of the aggressive and violent fighting bull to a T — he's huge, strong and black as pitch — but he's a gentle and pacifist soul, and would only like to keep smelling the flowers.
- Dark Is Not Evil: His jet-black fur and heavyset stature give him an imposing appearance, but his gentle demeanor is hardly congruent with this exterior.
- Eats Babies: After his rampage during the flower festival and an encounter with a baby, he is reputed to have eaten said baby (much to his horror).
- Gentle Giant: He's a humongous bull that wouldn't hurt a fly.
- Heroic Sacrifice: A non-death example. At a crucial moment, Ferdinand chooses to help the other bulls get onto a moving vehicle instead of jumping on himself. As a result, all of the other bulls successfully escape to freedom, but Ferdinand is re-captured and taken to the bullfighting ring.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Ferdinand has blue eyes and is very kind and much more optimistic than other bulls.
- Like Father, Like Son: He shares more than a passing resemblance to his deceased father, and like him, is a gentle, kindhearted guy.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine boy (a Gentle Giant who loves flowers) to Lupe's masculine girl (crude goat who wants to be a coach for bulls)
- Nice Guy: Another defining character trait is his cheerfulness, his eagerness to make friends and kindness towards others. A few examples include:
- When the hedgehogs attempt to steal his food, he generously gives it to them and even lifts them up to the window to their exit.
- When he sees Bones grieving over Guapo being sent to the chop shop, he comforts him and offers to be there for him whenever he's feeling down.
- No One Gets Left Behind: When he realizes that bulls never win fighting in the arena, he decides to rescue all the bulls from Casa del Toro instead of taking the chance to escape.
- Reality Ensues:
- No matter how tamed and non-aggressive a bull is, bringing them to a public event is never a wise decision, as something is bound to set them off. Juan explains this as the reason why Ferdinand can't come with them to the flower festival. Predictably enough, when Ferd comes to the festival on his own, he panics and runs amok after being stung by a bee.
- Men in general, but especially large men, are seen as threats or a danger by most people. Only those who know them well are typically excepted from this norm while others have even been known to complain about feeling threatened simply by being in the same room as a man. Ferdinand, who represents this erroneous stereotype, is immediately type cast as a violent brute because of his immense size.
- Real Men Wear Pink:
- Ferdiand is a big, scary-looking bull, but he loves flowers, and he would rather spend his time admiring nature than fight in the ring.
- Sheathe Your Sword: This is how Ferdinand is eventually able to escape the bullfighting ring; when he finally gains the upper hand during the bullfight and has an opportunity to kill the bullfighter, he instead chooses to sit down on his haunches even as the bullfighter points a blade at him. This doesn't change the bullfighter's mind, but it changes the audience's mind; the audience insists on letting Ferdinand go, and Ferdinand finally gains his freedom.
- Sneeze of Doom: When trying to hide in a china shop of all places, Ferdinand's face gets dusted by the elderly shopkeeper, causing him to sneeze and make the shopkeeper go flying out of the store's front window and break all the china inside.
- The So-Called Coward: The other bulls, specially Valiente, consider Ferdinand a coward due to being an Actual Pacifist; in reality, Ferdinand is quite brave, and willing to risk his life and freedom to protect others, even those who insulted him.
A resident at Casa Del Toro, Lupe is a female goat who feels her destiny is to coach a champion fighting bull, though none of the bulls seem to have any patience for her.
- Butt-Monkey: Out of all the character in the film, it is she who suffers the most slapstick comedy.
- Cloudcuckoolander: She's quite eccentric.
- Eating the Eye Candy: As she's inspecting Ferdinand, Lupe pays close attention on his flank in an almost lustful manner.Lupe: Mama like that. Mama like that!
- Extreme Omni-Goat: She sometimes eats things that only cartoon goats can, including sardine cans.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine girl (a crude goat who wants to be a coach for bulls) to Ferdinand's feminine boy (a Gentle Giant who loves flowers)
- Mentor Archetype: What she wants to be. She eventually gives up on it, seeing it as a stupid dream.
- Stomach of Holding: She can cough up the things she's eaten completely intact.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: When Ferdinand says that Nina will love her, Lupe asks what love is. Considering her treatment at the ranch, it makes sense that she doesn't know. In the end, she finally learns what love is when she and the rest of the bulls get adopted by Nina and is hugged by her. She likes the feeling.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Whether it's Lupe, the hedgehogs, the horses, or humans in general, they aren't really viewed as sweethearts.
- HeelFace Turn: By the end they have all become gentle giants as much as Ferdinand.
A brown-furred bull and a resident of Casa del Toro, Valiente is a bovine with a strong desire for fame and recognition, which he feels can be achieved if he is selected to fight in a bullfight.
- 0% Approval Rating: While he is feared by the other bulls, he's not really liked by them either. Best shown after he, Ferdinand and Guapo escape from the chop house. When he reunites with the rest of the bulls, they are more happy to see Guapo alive than him. He admits that he probably deserved that response.
- Badass Baritone: The deep, gravelly voice of Bobby Cannavale lends itself very well to this trope.
- Blood Knight: In stark contrast to Ferdinand, Valiente lives for battle.
- Brutish Bulls: He's a much better fit than people in the movie expect Ferdinand to be. He's aggressive and short-tempered, and lives for battle.
- The Bully: No pun intended. He was this as a calf and only got worse as an adult.
- Disappeared Dad: His father is nowhere to be seen after when we see him as an adult. Whether his dad was chosen next to fight in the bullring or was sent to the chop house is unknown. Either way, he is likely dead.
- Freudian Excuse: His behavior as a calf and an adult are likely traced to his father who, from what little we see of him, was an aggressive jerk, who was dismissive of his son and who pressured Valiente to always stay strong and never be weak lest he suffer the same fate as Ferdinand's dad (and the bulls before him).
- Handicapped Badass: Breaks his horn after fighting Ferdinand.
- HeelFace Turn: He finally becomes cooperative with the other bulls after Ferdinand rescues him from the chophouse and his former bullying victim convinces him that a bull can decide their own fate, that there's more to life than strict Social Darwinism. He noticeably becomes more mellow after this, and it's implied that part of the reason Valiente was such a Jerkass was because he deliberately stiffled any other emotion he had besides anger and aggression for years.
- Humble Pie: Losing his horn in a scuffle with Ferdinand really took its toll on Valiente's ego; he saw it as a sign that he is unfit to fight, an outcast, a weakling. It took him a while to snap out of his blues and finally pull a HeelFace Turn.
- Jerkass: He's foul-tempered, rude and aggressive. He becomes much nicer after Ferdinand saves him and Guapo from the chop house.
- Jerkass Has a Point: As hostile and unpleasant as he is, Valiente isn't usually wrong about the things he said.
- He correctly argues that Ferdinand's pacifistic nature will do him no favors at Casa Del Toro, where a bull's best, if not only chance of survival is to go into the ring and put on a good enough show to get selected by a matador for a bullfight, otherwise they will be sent to the chophouse to be killed for meat. Hes later proven to be wrong as Ferdinand discovers the true nature of bullfighting and whether a bull gets sent to the slaughterhouse or is selected for a bullfight, the bull dies either way.
- While he shows no regret for his involvement in getting Guapo sent to the chophouse for his unimpressive performance in front of El Primero, he defends himself by with the argument that Guapo wouldn't have gotten selected anyway due to his crippling Performance Anxiety being a major handicap to his skills as a fighting bull.
- Earlier in the film as calves, Bones believes he'll be chosen by a matador for being the fastest of the bulls but Valiente tells him he'll never be selected because his scrawny body will make it easy for him to be brought down.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He becomes this after Ferdinand saves him from the chop house. He's still the designated tough guy of the herd, but he's no longer a hostile bully obsessed with fighting everyone, and he has developed a sense of loyalty towards the other bulls.
- Kick the Dog: As a calf, he crushes Ferdinand's flower out of spite over the latter's father being chosen to fight in the bullring instead of his father.
- Like Father, Like Son: The apple really doesn't fall far from the tree as far as Valiente and his father are concerned - both are aggressive, callous and cynical.
- Reformed Bully: He becomes this in the last third of the movie, when he finally accepts Ferdinand's olive branch and decides to stop pushing around the other bulls like he has done for most of his life. When the others initially shun him, he accepts that he probably has it coming, and he later risks his freedom to try to save Ferdinand.
- The Social Darwinist: Following in his father's footsteps, he firmly believes a bull's only value is their strength: only the strong survive, while the weak are killed one way or another. He does not react well when Ferdinand tears down the world view he's had since he was a calf in the span of about three minutes.
- Villainous Breakdown: He has a relatively minor one. After being an aggressive, antagonistic, unrepentant jerk for about two-thirds of the movie, Valiente is just as shell-shocked as the other bulls by Ferdinand's discovery that the system is rigged against bulls, whether they win or lose, but unlike them, he refuses to accept that it's true and doubles down madly in denial. Instead, he forces Ferdinand to fight him, so he can take his frustrations out on him and injure him badly. Not only does he lose to Ferdinand's strength, but he loses his horn in the process, ending his chances of being a professional fighter and getting him shipped off to the chop house to be killed. By the time Ferdinand goes to rescue him a few hours later, he seems to have finally calmed down and resigned himself to spending his last few days alive wallowing in despair and self-pity.
A black and maroon-furred bull and a resident of Casa Del Toro who knew Ferdinand as a child. Though confident in his skills as a fighting bull, he suffers from Performance Anxiety and tends to lose his lunch whenever he feels pressured enough.
- Brainless Beauty: He's a good looking Bull who isn't very bright.
- Catchphrase: "Oh mama..."
- Disney Death: Gets sent to the chop house after failing to impress the matador. Thankfully, he's rescued before it happens.
- I'm Not Afraid of You: When he meets Ferdinand (who, mind you, is the largest of the bulls) again as an adult, he thinks that Ferdinand is back to intimidate them and pay them back for their bullying as kids. He then exclaims that he isn't intimidated by Ferdinand's "freakish hugeness" (though his facial expression as he says that clearly shows that he is).
- Meaningful Name: His name means "handsome" in Spanish, and he certainly is proud over being the most good looking of the bulls.
- Performance Anxiety: When he tries to show his abilities as a fighting bull, he tends to lose his cool and throw up. This is best shown when he and the rest of the bulls are brought to impress El Primero. Before the performance he is wrecked with anxiety and throws up, and when he looks at El Primero, the latter gives him a glare, and Guapo quickly loses his cool and faints. This unfortunately sends him to the chop shop.
- By the near end of the film, he seems to have overcome his anxiety, as he confidently charges at what he thinks is a matador (actually a father in a matador cardboard cutout)
A shaggy, tan-furred bull haling from Scotland, Angus is a newcomer at Casa Del Toro who, like his fellow bulls, wishes to be selected to participate in a bullfight. Unfortunately for Angus, his hair badly impedes his skills since it prevents him from seeing where he is charging.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: He is quick to warm up to Ferdinand after the latter helps him see better by licking his hair up.
- Blinding Bangs: Angus deconstructs this trope since his hair is so long that it hinders his abilities as a fighting bull due to preventing him from seeing where he is going. Thankfully, Ferdinand helps him by licking his hair up so that he can see better.
- Brave Scot: Courtesy of his voice actor, David Tennant.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Boy, is he ever? He chews more scenery than he can digest and loves every second of it.
- Large Ham: David Tennant really enjoyed himself in this role.
- National Animal Stereotypes: A Highland bull that comes from Scotland and speaks with a Scottish accent and does highland dancing during the dance battle against the horses.
A scrawny, comical bull and a resident of Casa Del Toro who knew Ferdinand as a calf.
- Fragile Speedster: Early in the movie, a younger Bones boasts that he will be chosen by the matador due to how fast he is. Unfortunately, Valiente points out that this won't really help him in a fight since his lithe body allows him greater speed, but makes him very easy to knock down.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As both a calf and an adult, he joins in on Valiente and Guapos ridicule of Ferdinand. However, he's nowhere near a jerkass as Valiente is as he secretly truly considers Guapo his friend and was distraught to see him shipped off to the chop house, and began to warm up to Ferdinand once he comforted Bones about Guapo getting shipped away to the slaughter house.
- Lean and Mean: Downplayed. He is the skinniest of the bulls and has a low opinion of Ferdinand at first, but hes later shown to be a good fellow deep down
- Meaningful Name: Bones is a rather befitting name for a bull who isn't as thickly-built as the other bovines in the movie.
- Oh, Crap!: Downplayed. After seeing Ferdinand for the first time in years and seeing how large he's become, he is clearly intimidated and immediately says he regrets ridiculing Ferdinand in his youth.
- Sand In My Eyes: When he mourns Guapo's Disney Death he tries passing it off as allergies.
A silent, intimidating bull engineered in a lab.
- Animal Testing: He's stated to have been experimented in a lab. Though the details are unexplained, the experimentation's might explain Maquina's really bizarre behavior.
- The Comically Serious: Stone-faced and humorless throughout most of the movie, but he still manages to be entertaining.
- Extreme Omnivore: He is able to eat wire from an electric fence!
- Made of Iron: He tears off electric wires with his teeth, and despite being heavily electrocuted, he suffers little to no injury.
- Meaningful Name: His name means "machine" in Spanish. Fitting due to his robotic personality and the mechanical way he moves.
- Perpetual Frowner: 90% of his facial expression in the entire movie is a stern frown.
- Silent Bob: Only speaks in vague grunts.
- The Unsmile: The first time we see him smile, he gives a really wide and awkward looking grin.
Ferdinand's father, who is taken to a match in the beginning of the movie.
- All There in the Manual: His name is never mentioned in the film, although it is confirmed that his name is Raf.
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: Hes a total beast in the arena, but a great guy around his son.
- Character Death: Once his empty trailer arrives at the ranch, Ferdinand realizes he has died.
- Good Parents: For how little we see of him in the film, he's shown to be quite empathetic to Ferdinand's worldview, and understanding enough not to deride him for it.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He is only shown in the prologue before his death.
A sheepdog who lives with Ferdinand.
- Bad Liar: Ferdinand notes that whenever he lies or tries to hide his true feelings, his tail wags. For instance; despite insisting othat he doesn't like to be considered Ferd's brother, his tail wagging gives him off.
- Go Through Me: After Ferdinand unintentionally destroys town property and is chased by animal catchers, Paco tries to fend them off. Much to his annoyance, they just run past him
- Jealousy: He seems somewhat jealous that Nina gives Ferdinand more attention than him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his sarcastic demeanor, he does care for Ferdinand and is even happy to see him return home (even if he tries and fails to be subtle about it).
- The Snark Knight: Literally almost every line of dialogue he has is some form of sarcasm.
A small adorable rabbit that Ferdinand encounters at Casa Del Toro.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: She has red fur.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: No hedgehog in the real world has pink, purple, or blue fur.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Though they at first only consider Ferdinand to be an obstacle in their mission to get some food from his pen, they warm up to him after he allows them to take what they want and gives them a lift up to his window so they can leave.
- Big, Thin, Short Trio: Una is the shortest, Dos is the most slender, and Quatro is the chubbiest
A short, pink-furred female hedgehog who befriends Ferdinand along with her brothers Dos and Quatro.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: She has pinkish-purple fur.
- Nice Girl: Once she befriends Ferdinand, shes shown to be a kind and affable individual.
- Pink Is Feminine: She is pink and the only girl in the hedgehog family.
A slender, purple-furred male hedgehog who befriends Ferdinand along with his sister Una and brother Quatro.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: He has purple fur.
- Berserk Button: Out of the trio, he hates being called something other than a hedgehog the most.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He is the gruffest of his siblings, but is still on Ferdinands side.
- Lean and Mean: Downplayed. Hes the most slender of his siblings and the gruffest, but is still a good guy.
A portly, blue-furred hedgehog who befriends Ferdinand along with his sister Una and brother Dos.
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: He has blue fur.
- Big Eater: Has a love for food, and goes into a dream-like trance whenever someone mentions a specific type of food.
- Big Fun: He's the chubbiest of his siblings and the most fun-loving one.
- Expy: A blue-quilled hedgehog that curls up into a perfect sphere when he has to go fast? Sounds familiar...
- Fainting: Faints when Tres shows up alive and well.
- Nice Guy: Generally a friendly, helpful hedgehog.
A trio of snooty, German-accented show horses who live at Casa Del Toro
- Alpha Bitch: Greta, the only female of the three, is just as mean.
- Fantastic Racism: They consider themselves far more superior to the bulls, who they frequently belittle and refer to as "schtinky". Neither Lupe or the hedgehogs seemed to be spared either.
- Jerkass: All three of them. Every scene of them with Ferdinand and the other bulls has them hurl a tirade of insults. They even gleefully threaten to alert the humans if Ferdinand and company try to escape.
- Hate Sink: Not a single redeeming factor is in them.
- True Companions: Despite their jerkiness, they do seem to care for each other. After losing the dance battle against the bulls due to fighting amongst themselves when one of them screws up a dance move, they tearfully apologize to each other and embrace.
- Awesome Ego: Despite having a huge ego, he's fun to watch.
- Badass Mustache: A famous matador who sports a pencil-thin mustache.
- Cool Car: Drives one which is later damaged by Ferdinand. This becomes a Brick Joke during the credits, where we see him in the car whilst it is getting towed away.
- Final Battle: He come to Casa Del Toro to find the biggest, strongest and most aggressive bull for one last fight before retirement.
- Graceful Loser: When Ferdinand is pardoned, he graciously accepts this and leaves without a fuss. Justified, as having a bull declared indultado is actually one of the biggest feathers a matador's cap can receive.
- Irony: In the climactic battle, he becomes the bull whilst Ferdinand (unintentionally) becomes the matador after the latter gets the former's cape snagged on his horns, and in an attempt shake the cape off, dodges El Primero's attempts to get it back.
- Jerkass: Generally towards Moreno. He behaves in a condescending manner towards Moreno, not even shaking his hand in welcome and threatens to ruin Moreno's business if he can't find a bull worthy enough to fight.
- Lean and Mean: A tall, lanky and egotistical man whose profession is fighting and killing bulls.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Ferdinand and the cast escape by hijacking the truck, only Moreno is baffled by this. El Primero is more concerned about losing his chosen bull for his final fight.
- Vanity License Plate: Has one that reads "000 OLE", despite personalised license plates not being permited in Spain.
The owner of Casa del Toro.
- Anti-Villain: He only does what he does because it's his job. He eventually becomes supportive of Ferdinand.
- HeelFace Turn: Following the defeat of El Primero, he willingly gives Juan and Nina Ferdinand back. He even gives them Lupe and the other bulls.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Downplayed. He sucks up to El Primero and caters to his every whim and desire (even giving up his bedroom for El Primero to sleep in), but he clearly dislikes the man for his ego and only grovels to him so that he can get paid (and later, not have El Primero ruin his reputation and business).
A kindhearted young girl and Ferdinand's best friend.
- A Dog Named "Dog": "Nina" means girl in Spanish.
- Break the Cutie: Being separated by Ferdinand and not being believed by the townspeople about him being gentle completely devastates her.
- Genki Girl: Nina is generally cheerful and playful.
- Nice Girl: A kind-hearted, friendly girl.
A good-natured florist and Nina's father who rescued Ferdinand when he was a calf.