Flora & Ulysses’ Author Says Disney’s Movie Is Better Than Her Book


Disney+’s newest movie Flora & Ulysses is based off of the best selling book by Kate DiCamillo and she claims it is better!

flora and ulysses poster

Disney+’s latest movie, Flora & Ulysses, is based off of the best selling book by Kate DiCamillo. Due to the popularity of the book this is a highly anticipated film from adults and kids alike. Many students read this book as part of school assignments, and it teaches the important message of hope and never giving up. In a recent interview with author Kate DiCamillo she stated that this is a rare case that the movie is better than the book. 

The story is about a young girl, Flora Buckman, who rescues a squirrel that she names Ulysses. She quickly discovers that he has superpowers, much like the superheroes her father writes about in the comic books he creates. Her mother is also an author (she writes romance novels), but her parents are recently separated. 

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.

As with most book adaptations, some things had to be changed when bringing it to the big screen. The biggest of these changes has to do with Flora’s parents, Phyllis and George. In the book, Phyllis is a chain smoker. For the Disney film, they changed her vice to lollipops. George is much older and bald, but in the movie Ben Schwartz plays him — who is younger and much less bald. 

Phyllis is also very cold and hard to relate to in the book, which is why she required the most changes. In the movie she is played by Alyson Hannigan, who wanted to make sure her character was nicer in the movie for a few reasons — mostly because she didn’t want her own children to hate her. 

Kate DiCamillo is very happy with these changes and updates to her story, and she explained why she feels this movie is better than the story she wrote.

[Phyllis] is much warmer. The movie, in a very rare instance of this happening, is better than the book. That is one of the places where it is better. It is humanizes Phyllis more. It amplifies everything that is good about the book – the hope, the love, the humor – but it also takes some of the harsher edges off. It is fabulous because of that.” – Kate DiCamillo 

Check out these Flora & Ulysses fun facts that I learned from the cast interviews!

Flora & Ulysses

Ben Schwartz as George and Matilda Lawler as Flora in FLORA & ULYSSES, exclusively on Disney+.

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.

Flora & Ulysses will stream on Disney+ starting February 19th!

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