Ferdinand's refusal to fight in the ring and his confidence in his nonviolent stance sends a strong message of individuality. He learns how to work out his problems without fighting, through quick and innovative thinking, as well as kindness and humor. His fellow animals often call him things like "soft" or "flower boy," which implies that he's somehow weak or unmasculine. While these messages are subverted by the movie's ending -- Ferdinand is clearly a strong character -- they may still have an impact on young viewers. Themes include compassion and courage.
Whether or not Ferdinand can -- or should -- compete in the violent Spanish sport of bullfighting is the movie's central question, and the final scenes take place in a bullfighting ring during a match. Ferdinand is slashed and threatened with spears; he also charges a bullfighter and sends him flying into the air (no blood; the man appears shortly after, unharmed). Ferdinand's friends grimly sum up what happens to bulls: Either they die in the ring or go to the "chop shop" (a tense rescue scene takes place in the latter, with dangerous machines and many near-misses). Heroic characters talk about fighting for "glory." At one point, Ferdinand's dad leaves for a match and never returns, leaving Ferdinand to call after him and weep. In several scenes, Ferdinand runs amok after being frightened or hurt; he knocks things over and butts people with his horns; at other times, Ferdinand protects smaller animals and a baby.
Lupe the Goat has a few lines with mild innuendo: e.g., looking over Ferdinand's bottom, she says, "A plus on the flank, mama likey!" in an admiring way.
No cursing, but Ferdinand and other bulls who aren't tough and aggressive are frequently called names like "flower boy," "soft," and "puny bag of bones." Bulls are also called "loser" and "dork." Also "sucks," "dumb," "stupid," and some crude humor, as when Lupe says that a group of bulls will be so surprised to see Ferdinand that they'll "fertilize the lawn."
Nothing in the film, but plenty of offscreen merchandising.