Monday, October 24, 2016

More Ferdinand

A couple of years ago I posted about Disney's 1938 Academy Award winning short film Ferdinand the Bull. Here is more visual material from this groundbreaking film. This article is from LIFE magazine. The idea of the unwillful hero would be repeated a few years later in The Reluctant Dragon. A bull and a dragon who don't want to fight. One prefers to smell flowers, the other much rather write poetry. Today it seems easy to categorize these two characters' nature, but I bet in those days that wasn't given much thought. After all both projects were based in literary stories.

Story sketches reflect a more realistic approach to the styling of the characters.

 A couple of character studies that beautifully reflect the drawing style of
1930s Disney.

A clean up drawing of Ferdinand's mother (from a Milt Kahl scene),  who was voiced by Walt Disney himself.

Original cels show strong attitudes of the matador and Ferdinand.The poor guy is begging the bull to fight. I am not sure if the scene was animated by Don Towsley, or if this artwork comes from his estate.

Here is the link to my first post on Ferdinand:


  1. Ce film n'a pas vieilli.
    In my opinion, the rectulant dragon and ferdinand are Disney's "gayest"characters

  2. Disney´s design at best. I saw the first post: the model sheets are incredible. I wonder who drew it...

  3. when I was young, around 12 years old, I had a friend that had this short on Video cassette as a proper short before a live action release, back when there was very little disney animation out there.They would let me watch it very slow over and over again.I eventually ruined the tape in a few spots, most notably the scene in which ferdinand sits on the bee and then goes crazy..It was a great lesson in anmation at the time and just fueled my desire to learn more and more. Can we get a proper rundown on who all of the matadors represent? I see Tytla, and Kimball in there, but who are the others. I've heard two stories as to who walt was...the matador himself, and the first matador in the parade on the horse. Thanks for sharing this stuff. takes me back to the joy I had studying it....cheers from san diego.

    1. I could swear Andreas had a previous blog post that pointed out the centre horseman as Bill Tytla, the matador as Walt, and the sword bearer as - of course - Ward Kimball. I can't find it now, though. I wonder if I saw it somewhere else?

      Anyway, it all looks excellent.

  4. remember this cartoon, I saw her when I was like 8 years is very good, like his animation and drawing.

  5. In Sweden this is one of the most well-known Disney short films as it's been shown on Christmas Eve every year for decades... Crazy but true tradition. Such a classic and fun short. Always loved the caricatures of the animators too...

  6. When Ferdinand goes to Madrid, he passes near a bridge. This bridge is real and it is in the wonderful town of Ronda, in the south of Spain.