The Story of Ferdinand - Legacy


A plushie of Ferdinand plays a significant role in the 1940 film Dance, Girl, Dance. The toy is passed between various characters, having been originally purchased as a memento of a visit to a nightclub called Ferdinand's. The nightclub has a large statue of Ferdinand at the rear of the bandstand.

Marvel Comics featured a recurring character named Rintrah in the pages of Doctor Strange. This extraterrestrial anthropomorphic bull was frequently referred to as Ferdinand for a gentle and kind nature

In the film Pursuit to Algiers, Mrs. Dunham compares Dr. Watson to Ferdinand the Bull because he would rather drink sherry than exert himself by going on a three–mile hike.

Ferdinand made an appearance in the 1997 film "Strays," a Sundance favorite written/directed/starring a then-unknown Vin Diesel. The story of Ferdinand, the bull who followed his heart and proved that just because you're a bull you don't have to act like one, served as a major influence and spirit of the film's plot.

Ferdinand again appeared in the 2009 movie The Blind Side, the story of Michael Oher, a film with a similar metaphorical message as Leaf's book. The movie includes a scene where a coach mentions that Michael would rather stare at balloons than hit someone. The character played by Sandra Bullock then replies "Ferdinand the Bull."

A rubber mask of Ferdinand is featured in the Stephen King novel Rose Madder.

The story was set to incidental music in "Ferdinand the Bull" by classical composer Mark Fish. This piece has been narrated in concerts by actors including David Ogden Stiers, Lauren Lane, and Emmy award-winner Roscoe Lee Browne. Fish and Stiers have co-produced a recording of a reduced version of the piece for narrator, cello, and piano, also narrated by Stiers, and recorded by northwest composer Jack Gabel and released by North Pacific Music. It was also adapted, in 1971, as a piece for solo violin and narrator by the British composer Alan Ridout.

Singer-songwriter Elliott Smith had a tattoo of Ferdinand the Bull, from the cover of Munro Leaf's book, on his right upper arm, which is visible on the cover of his record Either/Or. The rock band Fall Out Boy named their third album From Under The Cork Tree after a phrase in the book.

Richard Horvitz commented that fellow actor and friend Fred Willard performed this story as a 5th grade class play when Fred was a child.

According to one scholar, the book crosses gender lines in that it offers a character to whom both boys and girls can relate.

The short film is broadcast in several countries every year on Christmas Eve as a part of the annual Disney Christmas show From All of Us to All of You.

In 1951, Holiday magazine published an Ernest Hemingway children's story called The Faithful Bull. This story has been interpreted as a "rebuttal" to the earlier Leaf book.

In 2012, American artist Michael Rakowitz, working with sculptor and preservationist Bert Praxenthaler and stone carvers from Bamiyan, Afghanistan, presented a stone sculpture of the book as part of his piece in Documenta (13), a major art exhibition in Kassel, Germany. According to Rakowitz's exhibit text, Ferdinand "caused an international controversy" when it was first published, due to its perceived pacifist tone, and was banned in Spain (then ruled by Francisco Franco), and "burned in Nazi Germany."

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