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Peter T Chattaway

The Story of Ferdinand

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Fox, Ice Age Director Bullish on The Story of Ferdinand

No one likes a tattletale, but everyone likes a cattle tale: After years of bedtime story cameos in films like The Blind Side and Stepmom, the gentle, flower-sniffing Ferdinand is finally getting his own movie — and that’s no bull. Fox Animation Studios has acquired The Story of Ferdinand — the classic 1936 children’s book, by author Munro Leaf and illustrator Robert Lawson, about the pacifist bull who’d rather chill outdoors than thrill with matadors — and plans to adapt it as a CGI feature film. What’s more, we hear that Carlos Saldanha, a director on all three Ice Age movies and of the forthcoming Rio will be developing it to direct.

Ferdinand celebrates its diamond anniversary this year, and since 1936 has remained one of the best-selling children’s books of all time: It’s sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone, and millions more in the 36 countries in which it's been published. After Sandra Bullock read the story to her sons in Blind Side, sales spiked even higher; according to Regina Hayes, president of Viking Children’s Books, some 100,000 copies were sold just on the strength of its cameo in that film alone. . . .

Vulture, New York, February 18

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Munro's book was previously adapted as a short film by Disney, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1938:

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