The squirrel in Disney’s ‘Flora & Ulysses’ steals the show


By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.

Disney’s “Flora & Ulysses” is a comedy-adventure 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.

“Flora & Ulysses” stars Matilda Lawler, Alyson Hannigan, Ben Schwartz, Anna Deavere Smith, Danny Pudi, Benjamin Evans Ainsworth, Janeane Garofolo and Kate McCucci.

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH as Dr. Meescham and Ben Schwartz as George in ‘Flora & Ulysses, on Disney+.

This is such a delightful movie and fun for the entire family, as young Flora needs to fill the void in her life that put superheroes at the forefront. Her mother is a romance novelist, and her father is a comic book enthusiast.

Ulysses enters the picture after he is sucked into a neighbor’s vacuum cleaner, and Flora resurrects him by performing CPR. Afterward he is adopted by her and the “hysterically blind” visiting neighbor boy named William.

It’s all hands-on deck, after Flora and her father, along with Ulysses, visits a donut shop and the squirrel basically tears the place up. Afterward he is hunted by animal control. After many shenanigans and awkward situations, they are successful in rescuing Ulysses and providing him a safe living environment. Smith is helpful as the physician who lives in the father’s apartment building and declares Ulysses healthy after his near-death experience. It’s good to see a diverse cast in these Disney+ films, as the subject matter is universal—all families can relate. There is action, adventure, comedy with the message of hope extended to Flora and understanding and encouragement offered to her from her parents.

MATILDA LAWLER AS Flora and Alyson Hannigan as Phyllis in FLORA & ULYSSES, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Jake Giles Netter. © 2020 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

And as for William; you can see the outcome of his situation after watching the film.

The film 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.

Disney’s “Flora & Ulysses” will be available exclusively on Disney+ (where Disney+ is available) beginning February 19, 2021.


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