[REVIEW] ‘Flora & Ulysses’ or Super Squirrels and Little Girls Are Adorable

One of the best things to come out of Disney Plus is the return of the mid-budget family film from Walt Disney Studios. With the exception of their Disneynature brand, the studio for many years only made giant blockbusters with over $100 million budgets. This was a real shame because I love the small live action Disney films from my childhood. Films like Newsies, White Fang, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken and The Journey of Natty Gann are practically as important to me as the Disney animated films. I’m so happy that a new generation of children will get films like these by way of Disney Plus!

Last year the best from Disney Plus in this department was Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made. It is a sweet, well written film about an awkward child, dealing with trauma by setting up his own detective agency. It made my top films of 2020, and I absolutely loved it.

While not as good as Timmy Failure, this year’s first contender is the new film Flora & Ulysses. It is a very sweet film about a little girl named Flora who helps rescue (literally giving CPR)a squirrel named Ulysses that just might have superpowers!

Flora’s parents played by Alyson Hannigan and Ben Schwartz are going through a separation and obviously that is hard on everyone. Hannigan is fantastic as her mother who is also a romance novelist with writers block. They get a lot of laughs out of her book titles and covers and the fact she won the Jack and Rose from Titanic prize for writing.

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I also thought Schwartz was warm and authentic as Flora’s aspiring comic book artist Dad. He is obviously very sad about what is happening to his marriage but not so much that he lets his daughter suffer.

The real star is young Matilda Lawler as Flora. She is so cute and I am extremely impressed this was her first film role. I predict we will be seeing a lot of her. Especially acting with a cgi creature is not easy and she did a fantastic job.

Parents of divorced kids might be a little annoyed by the ending of Flora & Ulysses and it is perhaps a touch too long but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It will be a wonderful movie to watch for family movie night and all enjoy together. It’s so enchanting it will make you wish for your own super-powered squirrel!

8 out of 10

Smile Worthy

If you get to see Flora &  Ulysses let me know what you think. Do you miss mid-budget live action films from Disney?

2 thoughts on “[REVIEW] ‘Flora & Ulysses’ or Super Squirrels and Little Girls Are Adorable

  1. I am glad to hear you enjoyed it! The book is popular at my library so I’m hoping kids will like the movie too. I’m curious to see it – part of the highlights of the book for me was the actual writing and the integration of telling some of the story in a comic book/graphic novel style. Not sure if any of that translates to screen and I’m wondering if they changed the ending at all.

  2. Not counting “Soul”, this is my favorite of these Disney+ Originals.
    Flora and Ulysses is adorable!!! If you’re a comic book fan, you owe it to yourself to watch this, as it is a love letter to comic books. This has the familiar “kid meets creature” story of films such as “E.T” and “The Iron Giant” among others. There are plenty of Easter Eggs and references to Marvel, Star Wars, DC, some more subtle, some more obvious. This is just a fun, simple, cute, family movie. The PG rating is because there are a lot of references to the main character’s mom being a “romance novelist” but nothing is ever explicit. If her occupation were different, this would have been G. This had a lot of sharp humor, and I had a smile on my face. I think I need to get some cavities filled from how sweet this movie was. This is up there with the “Paddington” movies as being a high recommendation for family viewing. 
Grade: A-   9/10   4/5 stars

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