Disney Plus Movie Review: Flora & Ulysses

“Flora & Ulysses” is based on the Newbery Award-winning book about 10-year-old Flora, an avid comic book fan and a self-avowed cynic, whose parents have recently separated. After rescuing a squirrel she names Ulysses, Flora is amazed to discover he possesses unique superhero powers, which take them on an adventure of humorous complications that ultimately change Flora’s life–and her outlook–forever.

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“Flora & Ulysses” stars Matilda Lawler, Alyson Hannigan, Ben Schwartz, Anna Deavere Smith, Danny Pudi, Benjamin Evans Ainsworth, Janeane Garofolo and Kate McCucci. It was directed by Lena Khan and produced by Gil Netter. Based on the novel “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” by Kate DiCamillo, the film’s screenplay is by Brad Copeland. Katterli Frauenfelder and James Powers served as executive producers.


Flora, a comic book-loving self-described cynic is the focus of a sweet new Disney movie “Flora & Ulysses”.  Flora lives her mother Phyllis, a neurotic writer trying to finish a book on a deadline.  Through a series of silly events, Flora befriends a squirrel she names Ulysses and she is convinced he’s a superhero.  Her mother isn’t as sure and eventually wants Flora to get rid of him.  

Flora meets a new friend William Spiver who strangely suffers from hysterical blindness.  He helps Flora keep Ulysses away from her mother and a ridiculous member of the local animal control who is convinced Ulysses has rabies and wants him put down.

The CGI is well done in “Flora & Ulysses” with the exception of a cat who looks like a straight cartoon in a scene in which it fights with the animal control character.  The movie is filled with scenes of the characters making messes, the squirrel causing chaos and strangely, it works!

If you are looking for a faithful version of the book by Kate DiCamillo, this movie isn’t it. One glaring difference is the ending in which it’s implied Flora’s parents get back together, but in the book they are divorced.  That’s one of the things I liked in the book, that there wasn’t a perfect happily ever after ending but the characters come together as a family.  I thought the movie glossed over William’s trauma and hysterical blindness only referring to William pushing a car into a lake (??) and having to leave his home.  

Overall “Flora & Ulysses” a great imaginative movie for kids but some of the key things in the book aren’t included which I think takes away from the character development.

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