- Adorkable: Ferdinand is a kind-hearted, inexperienced bull who loves flowers.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Valiente just a testosterone-fueled Jerkass, or a Drill Sergeant Nasty who is honestly doing what he thinks is necessary to survive? Given what he knows, the world really is just a choice between being strong and having a chance against the matador or being weak and just being sent to the butcher. Once he realizes that the bull never wins he turns around and becomes The Ace in less than half a scene.
- Awesome Music: This movie has "Home", a beautiful, uplifting Award-Bait Song sung by Nick Jonas.
- Base-Breaking Character. Lupe the goat. Some love her while others see her as the unholy offspring of Sid The Sloth and Flo from the Progressive Direct commercials.
- Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The bulls having a dance off against the horses. It's bizarre and strange, and it's never referenced again afterwards.
- Captain Obvious Reveal: Ferdinand discovering that "the bull never wins" is meant to be a big shocking plot twist, but to those who know the first thing about bullfights, it comes off as no surprise whatsoever.
- Critical Dissonance: It has a 71% "Fresh" rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, but an audience rating of only 49% there.
- Designated Villain: The ranch hands. They take quite a lot of physical abuse before all's said and done, but they're just doing their jobs.
- Esoteric Happy Ending: Ferdinand earns his freedom and returns home, along with all of his friends. However, the bull fights are still going on, and thousands like them will continue to die in the ring. Though it's likely that Ferdinand's stand would at least lead to changes in the way people see or conduct future bull fights, creating a small but ultimately positive difference.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Like many Blue Sky films, weak domestic numbers ($84.4 million) were countered by huge ones overseas ($211.6 million, nearly double the budget). The film did particularly well in Sweden, where the original short film is broadcast every Christmas Eve as part of the Disney special "From All Of Us".
- He Really Can Act: John Cena's warm and surprisingly sensitive performance as the title character ended up being widely praised by critics, even those who didn't think the movie was particularly great.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- In the Japanese dub, the titular hero is voiced by Ryotaro Okiayu, whose most famous role was as Alucard in the Castlevania franchise, and especially in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, when he have to face many bull-like enemies through the game. In this film, he voice a literal bull this time.
- In 1939, Disney produced a short film based on the same source material. Shortly after the film was released, Blue Sky Studios (and by extension, this movie) was purchased by Disney.
- Jerkass Woobie: Bones becomes this when he starts crying over Guapo's supposed death. Later on, he's quick to transition into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Just Here for Godzilla: Doctor Who and DuckTales (2017) fans want to see the movie due to David Tennant's role.
- Narm: From a distance, the slaughterhouse is seen as a dark and dreaded place, the final destination of all bulls considered unfit to fight in the ring. When Ferdinand eventually goes into the slaughterhouse to rescue Valiente and Guapo, it turns out to be an unrealistically goofy Conveyer Belt Of Doom.
- So Okay, It's Average: The general opinion seems to be that the film isn't particularly spectacular, but it's still a fun movie, bookended by a great beginning and ending, and if nothing else, has John Cena giving a surprisingly heartfelt performance.
- Tainted by the Preview: A good chunk of the early teasers and trailers did not portray the movie in a good light, focusing more on the slapstick and funny animal elements. While there's plenty of this, the actual movie is a very sweet and bold tale involving bullfighting and bonding.
- Trailer Joke Decay: The "bull in a china shop" bit. Despite being a brief, unimportant (albeit technically impressive) scene, it's splashed all over the marketing and interviews, and the crew generally seems to be under the impression that it's funnier than it is.
- Unfortunate Implications: All the sympathetic characters have American or British accents, while the more antagonistic characters are the ones to have actual Spanish accents. The movie as a whole can be constructed as anti-Spain.
- Viewer Species Confusion: Dos is thinner and ganglier than Una and Quatro (and maybe Tres) and his spines aren't as pronounced or visible, which causes him to look more like a stereotypical rat rather than a hedgehog. Rather ironic that someone who hates getting his and his family's species confused the most looks the least like one.
YMMV / Ferdinand