Movie Review – ‘Flora & Ulysses’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ and I’m Tim Bradley!

Last Friday, I saw ‘Flora & Ulysses’, an original Disney+ movie! This happens to be a superhero family comedy film involving a young girl called Flora and a squirrel called Ulysses. I had a fun time watching this movie on Disney+. I didn’t know what to expect and I came away feel really satisfied. 🙂

The movie is based on the children’s novel of the same name by Kate DiCamillo, which was published in 2013. I’ve not come across the book before, but it was nice to watch the film. It has a good balance of featuring domestic drama whilst having some fantasy superhero elements to enjoy.

Like I said, the film focuses on Flora Buckman, who is a cynical 10-year-old girl who likes to read superhero comics. Her father George happens to be a comic book author who is struggling whilst her mother Phyllis is a romance novelist. George and Phyllis have separated because of tough hardships.

During the course of the film, Flora saves the life of a squirrel that she names Ulysses. Very soon, Ulysses uses Phyllis’ vintage typewriter to type words and seems to develop superpowers of his own. It’s a matter of time before Flora has Ulysses’ help to find a way to reunite her family together again.

I’m not sure how the squirrel is able to gain superpowers after Flora resuscitates him back to life. I’m just thankful Ulysses didn’t end up being a talking squirrel as the film could’ve easily gone in that direction. The squirrel ends up being a normal squirrel despite being CGI and having superpowers. 🙂

Yes the squirrel does happen to be CGI as opposed to being real, but somehow I was able to feel the emotional connection between Flora and Ulysses when they interacted with each other. Ulysses as a squirrel is more convincing than the cat Mr. Klaus who’s regularly attacking people upon his grounds.

I liked the superhero comic book references featured in the film. This included the Silver Surfer, Wolverine from the X-Men and even Spider-Man got mentioned. There are also the superheroes created by Flora’s dad George including Incandesto (who’s the main one) and the Mighty Condor. 😀

Matilda Lawler stars as Flora Buckman in the film. I enjoyed Matilda Lawler’s performance in the film. She’s a clearly good child actress and is able to work well with Ulysses whom I’m sure wasn’t there when she interacted with him on set. Flora also provides some voice-over narration in the film.

The film also features Alyson Hannigan (who’s been in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’) as Phyllis Buckman, Flora’s romance novelist mother. There’s also Ben Schwartz (who voiced ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ in his own movie in 2020) as George Buckman, who is Flora’s comic book author father. 🙂

There’s also Anna Deavere Smith as Dr. Meescham, the Buckmans’ neighbour; Danny Pudi as Miller, an animal control officer who tries to capture Ulysses and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as William Spiver, a ‘hysterically blind boy’ whom Flora befriends. I’m surprised a Daredevil reference wasn’t included for William. It did seem to be a bit of a cheat when William was cured of his blindness later on.

There’s also Janeane Garofalo as Marissa and Kate Micucci as Rita, a donut diner waitress. I believe the filming for this movie was done in 2019 whilst the post-production was done in 2020. I make this observation since there wasn’t a lot of social distancing occurring in the filmed scenes for the movie.

Incidentally, there’s a comic book store owner in the film called Stanlee, played by Bobby Moynihan. I can tell the name was a reference to Stan Lee in the film. 😀 The original book author Kate DiCamillo also made a cameo in the film, playing a woman called Kate. Essentially playing herself! 😀

‘Flora & Ulysses’ is a very entertaining superhero film involving a young girl and a squirrel. I enjoyed watching it on Disney+ recently. There are some flaws regarding the squirrel getting his superpowers and the blind boy not being blind anymore by the end, but I recommend watching this Disney+ film!

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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