Parents' Guide to

Flora & Ulysses

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Quirky, book-based tale has action, dramatic moments.

Movie PG 2021 91 minutes
Flora & Ulysses Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 8+

INCREDIBLE!!!!!

loved the story, if your a fan of spider man the squirrel gets super powers from a vacuum! But, the dad gets shot multiple times by a tranqulizer gun. Otherwise great!
age 2+

Not Divorce Friendly

Fun and funny flick, but as someone else pointed out, not great if your family is split or especially in the middle of splitting. Spoilers - it starts with the parents separated and the usual sad moments of reflecting on the past, family photos, etc. However, the movie seems to focus a lot on the parents and not as much on the child or squirrel really, and then the parents get back together, which nowadays as we know, typically isn’t the case - so that was a little difficult watching with my child. Apparently this is not in the book series, so very odd that Disney / the writers added this part, in this day and age, when many more modern shows deal with blended families / divorce much more commonly. Otherwise, it was funny and some great moments for sure.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (21 ):

This offbeat book-based film is as silly as you might expect from the premise, but it also packs a sneaky emotional punch. If you find yourself shedding a tear over the fate of, yes, a squirrel, chalk it up to the flawless, adorable animation of Ulysses and a mostly commanding performance by Lawler as the outwardly clever but inwardly despondent Flora. She's entirely convincing as a 10-year-old who's holding things together while her parents fall apart. You know she shouldn't be in that position -- any more than she should be sitting in the front seat of her dad's new sports car -- but that's part of the zaniness and also the weightiness of the role. Flora pulls her family back together through the strength of her conviction ... in a magic squirrel. Whether her story is real or imagined, well, that's up to you to decide. But it's the characters' own belief in magic that helps them rediscover their hope, confidence, and path forward.

Following Flora & Ulysses' use of superhero metaphors, Flora herself isn't unlike her dad's creation, the superhero Incandesto, whose light saves souls from the darkness of despair. The gold-clad Incandesto (Darien Martin), who regularly pops up to cheer Flora on, is just one more quirky but likable character in the cast, which also includes William, a dry, formal chap who has an unexplained British accent and blindness that turns out to be (as he says) "hysterical," and the squirrel-obsessed/tranquilizer-happy animal control agent Miller, whose mania recalls Bill Murray in Caddyshack. As these two character descriptions may imply, the film doesn't seem particularly concerned with contemporary political correctness. This -- together with throwback references drizzled throughout and a zippy soundtrack that includes classics from Tom Jones, MC Hammer, and Cat Stevens -- adds up to give Flora & Ulysses a somewhat retro feel.

Movie Details

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