The Story of Ferdinand (1936) is the best-known work written by American author Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The children's book tells the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights. He sits in the middle of the bull ring failing to take heed of any of the provocations of the matador and others to fight.
The story was adapted by Walt Disney as a short animated film entitled Ferdinand the Bull in 1938, in a style similar to his Silly Symphonies series. Ferdinand the Bull won the 1938 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).
A 3D feature-length computer-animated film adaptation, titled Ferdinand, was released on December 15, 2017. Produced by 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, it was directed by Carlos Saldanha. Ferdinand was nominated for Best Animated Film (losing to Coco) in the 90th Academy Awards.
History with the Macy's Parade
Ferdinand The Bull
To promote Walt Disney's animated short based on the book of the same name, Macy's made a balloon-based on the character in 1938, making him the last Disney balloon to be made before the war. The design was very generic, as most early-on balloons were, with him holding a small flower as he makes his way down the Parade route. After his one-time appearance, he went to Boston to appear in the Santason Parade. It is unknown if a new version of Ferdinand will return, as he is seen as outdated and obscure in the eyes of many.
- In the 1938 edition of the Santason Parade, Ferdinand's horns were deflated, and the balloon itself wasn't fully inflated.
- The Ferdinand balloon's skin was orange, which is inconsistent with his animated appearance; his skin is actually dark grey.