- The Story of Ferdinand
"The Story of Ferdinand" (
1936) is the best-known work written by American author Munro Leafand 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 matadorand others to fight.
The book was released at the outbreak of the
Spanish Civil War, and so was seen by many supporters of Francisco Francoas a pacifist book. It became a target of the right wing, being banned in many countries, and—perhaps because of that suppression—was promoted by many on the left. It was one of the few non-Communist books promoted in Soviet-occupied Poland.
Leaf is said to have written the story on a whim in an afternoon in 1935, largely to provide his friend, illustrator Robert Lawson (then relatively unknown) a forum in which to showcase his talents.
The story was also cited by many former critics of U.S. intervention in
World War IIafter Pearl Harborto explain their change of heart.
The story was adapted by
Walt Disneyas a short animated film entitled "Ferdinand the Bull" in 1938 , in a style similar to his " Silly Symphonies" series (and sometimes considered an unofficial part of that series). "Ferdinand the Bull" won the 1938Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).
Elliott Smithhad 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 Boynamed their third album " From Under The Cork Tree" after a phrase in the book. [cite web | url = http://www.thesyn.com/college/general7/fall_tracks.asp | title = Fall Out Boy—"From Under The Cork Tree" | year = 2005 | accessdate = 2007-05-14 | publisher = The Syndicate | quote = When he was a little boy, Fall Out Boy bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz enjoyed reading "Curious George," "Babar" and Richard Scarry, but his favorite children's book was "The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf. The story (...) was so inspirational to Wentz that he titled the band's breakthrough record From Under the Cork Tree.] Richard Horvitzcommented that fellow actor and friend Fred Willardperformed this story as a 5th gradeclass play when Fred was a child.
* [http://www.disneyshorts.org/years/1938/ferdinandthebull.html Ferdinand the Bull] , in the Encyclopedia of Disney Animated Shorts
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