Disney’s Flora & Ulysses is a super fun, family friendly film, that is filled with great comic book references and Easter Eggs!
It didn’t take me very long to know that I was going to love Disney’s Flora & Ulysses. The opening scene is literally comic book panels and then Flora says “The Silver Surfer” and proceeds to discuss some of my favorite Marvel characters. So yeah, it was less than a minute in and I was hooked. I knew this movie was going to be every single thing I had hoped it would be — and more.
In this movie Flora is a 10 year old girl after my very own heart. She reminds me a lot of my oldest daughter who loves comic books, superheroes, and is also a total cynic. Her parents have separated and this is what has sent her down that cynical road — or at least more so.
Flora’s father, George (played by Ben Schwartz) is a comic book creator, and has created some of her favorite superheroes, including Incandesto – who she claims can beat Spider-Man. Her mother, Phyllis (played by Alyson Hannigan), is a romance novel writer and is in a bit of a slump ever since George moved out.
After some crazy antics, Flora rescues and injured squirrel who she names Ulysses. After not too long she realizes that maybe, just maybe, this squirrel has developed superpowers after its accident. It seems like he can fly, has super strength, and can — write poetry? As if that isn’t enough William Spiver, who suffers from hysterical blindness has come to stay with Flora’s neighbor. These two are about the same age so it is only natural they start to play together, and William is willing to help Flora with Ulysses.
Flora & Ulysses is based on the best selling book Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo, which I highly recommend you check out if you enjoy the film.
All Things Geeky
I am willing to bet that it comes as no shock to you that I am a bit of a geek. I have been collecting comic books since I was younger than Flora, and playing video games even longer than that. Geek culture is my JAM and so when this film started with the comic book page looking art and mention of actual Marvel superheroes, I was sold. That was all I needed to love this film and then it just gets better from there.
As I mentioned in my on set interview with Ben Schwartz, there are a ton of Easter Eggs in Flora & Ulysses. The first time we see Bobby’s character, who is perfectly names Stanlee, he is reading a DuckTales comic book — all of the voices of the ducks are in this film, so that is a great little nod to their show.
One of my favorite geeky things featured is when Ulysses does a classic superhero landing. I yelled out and proceeded to crack up — it was so classic. There are many other geeky references throughout the movie and I don’t want to ruin them for you, so just be on the lookout!
An All Around Fantastic Cast
Just take a glimpse at the cast list and it is obvious that this film is hilarious. Ben Schwartz, Alyson Hannigan, Danny Pudi, Bobby Moynihan, and Kate Micucci are all comedic geniuses. Each and every single one of them delivers, don’t worry.
Being a very child focused film, it is often a worry that the kid actors will not be the best. Let’s be honest here they are quite often a bit too over the top. These fears were already pushed aside for me having met both Matilda Lawler, who plays Flora, and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, who plays William Spiver, on set. Both of these children are professionals and extremely talented. I know they are going places, so keep an eye out for them.
You might already recognize Benjamin from Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor, which has a much different feel than this movie.
When I watch a movie with my young daughters, I often want there to be some good life lessons weaved into the story so that they come out of it learning something, even if they don’t know that they are learning it. Flora & Ulysses does just this. With Flora being a cynic at the start of this movie, she has given up all hope. In fact, all of the Buckmans seem pretty down on themselves, and life. William Spiver also has some issues to work out — he is hysterically blind after all.
Flora & Ulysses is a bit predictable, as are a lot of children’s movies, but the lessons are still there, and still effective. Don’t give up on yourself, or your family and friends — because hope is one of the most important things we can have. Oh, and anyone can be a super hero.
Is Flora & Ulysses OK For Kids?
Flora & Ulysses is absolutely an OK move for kids. You could argue that it is a kids movie, although I think adults are sure to enjoy it just as much, if not more. Especially if they are into superheroes and comic books like I am.
I know a lot of parents were worried about the smoking from the book but have no fear, Phyllis’ vice has changed into lollipops. Something much more kid friendly, that’s for sure. There is some violence, especially when it comes to the Animal Control Employee, however it is all cartoon style violence – over the top and no gore.
Disney’s Flora & Ulysses is everything that I wanted it to be and more. The fact that they are able to include so many Marvel references and Easter Eggs is just amazing! It raises this film up a whole notch. But it isn’t just about the superheroes and other geek references for me (although I do love them all).
This movie is about hope, family, and never giving up — on yourself or others. Flora & Ulysses finds a way to perfectly balance the heartwarming story, hilarious moments, and superheroes. Every member of this cast brings something great to the table, and there were moments where I was holding my sides because I was laughing so hard. This film is such a joy to watch, and something the whole family is sure to love!
About Flora & Ulysses
Disney’s “Flora & Ulysses” is a delightful 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.