A bull named Ferdinand is a gentle soul. While all the other bulls like to butt heads and fight, Ferdinand wants only to sit and smell the flowers. The great ambition of most of the bulls is to compete in the bullfighting ring in Madrid, but not Ferdinand. However, when the bullfighting scouts come to inspect the bulls, Ferdinand gets stung by a bee. The rampage he goes on leads the scouts to believe he is prime bullfighting material, and they take him to the ring, marketing him as "Ferdinand the Fierce". But he remains a gentle soul.
- Beastly Bloodsports: Bullfighting. Although since this is a children's cartoon, Ferdinand doesn't get killed as would happen in Real Life.note
- Bee Afraid: Ferdinand's terror of a bee is what gets him incorrectly tabbed as a prime candidate for bullfighting.
- Blowing a Raspberry: A blink-and-you'll-miss-it part. When the crowd shows dismay and anger at Ferdinand for smelling the flowers, one of the horses can be seen sticking his tongue out at him. The matador also blows a raspberry at Ferdinand when trying to taunt him to fight.
- Continuity Cameo: Yep, that's Snow White attending the bullfight.
- Creator Cameo: Walt Disney himself provides the voice of Ferdinand's mom. Milt Kahl voices Ferdinand as a calf.
- Face Palm: The matador does this when Ferdinand smells the flower instead of fighting.
- Medium Awareness: Ferdinand's mom frowns when the narrator calls her a cow.
- Narrator: Reads the text of The Story of Ferdinand mostly unchanged.
- Storybook Opening: Not in the original short, but added when this cartoon was aired in the 1950s on Walt Disney Presents.
- Toros y Flamenco: Typical Hollywood portrait of Iberia, centered on bullfighting.