Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Forgotten John Cena Movie Dominating Disney+ Right Now

John Cena — insert musical sting — has had an illustrious career, breaking the nigh-impenetrable wrestler/actor barrier in a move known as "the Scorpion King maneuver" beginning with 2006's The Marine. Since then, he's joined the DC Extended Universe, fought alongside the Autobots, and perhaps most impressively, enjoyed immense success in the field of cartoon caveman pugilism with the denizens of Bedrock in The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age SmackDown!

Then, in 2017, Cena starred in a motion picture absent the heavy dramatic implications of stone age wrestling: Ferdinand, the animated adaptation of Munro Leaf's beloved 1936 children's book The Story of Ferdinand. Cena voiced the eponymous hero, a bovine who grows up on a farm where fighting bulls are raised. Flying in the face of tradition, Ferdinand prefers life's gentler pleasures to the promise of being stabbed to death, and spends his downtime tending to a daffodil. It's a fish-out-of-water story, only the fish is a bull and the water is traditional European bloodsport.

Now, according to the streaming traffic monitors over at FlixPatrol, the Blue Sky Studios production is experiencing an unexpected second wind thanks to its status as a recent addition to the Disney+ family of offerings.

Ferdinand shows viewers the softer side of Cena

Ferdinand flew under most folks' radar when it debuted in theaters back in December of 2017, thanks in large part to the fact that it was released opposite The Last Jedi, meaning that everyone was too busy discussing whether or not Luke got short shrift to notice that there was a cartoon bull available. Peaking at number two at the box office, it's spent the last few years vaguely present at the back of the collective consciousness.

Which is a shame, really, because it's a sweet movie. John Cena is joined by a bevy of familiar names. His rival bulls are voiced by Peyton Manning, Bobby Cannavale, and Anthony Anderson. Scottish fan-favorite Doctor Who star David Tennant makes a rare appearance as a character with a Scottish accent. Kate McKinnon co-stars as a goat named Lupe, bringing her trademark energy to the film.

Ferdinand was directed by Ice Age co-helmer Carlos Saldanha, whose obvious familiarity with the genre means plenty of heart-tugging beats. Giant-eyed baby animal sequences, funky contemporary music cues, and a gold-standard Mufasa-style patriarchal death sequence all add up to exactly the kind of movie that you'd probably expect. Additionally, the film is inexorably centered on bullfighting, adding a little "the main character of this children's movie could get stabbed and die" tension that you just don't see in many family films these days.