Lena Khan was brought into the Disney fold after directing just one feature-length film, The Tiger Hunter. Khan’s direction fits right into the Disney aesthetic and brings some much-needed diversity to the mouse house director’s chair. Flora, Matilda Lawler, is a girl with an active imagination fueled by her father George’s comic book creations. George, Ben Schwartz, is currently separated from his wife Phyllis, Alyson Hannigan. The chemistry within the family is believable.
Ulysses is a squirrel that enters the fun and pulls off superhero antics. It is a fun take on the well-worn superhero trope, especially for kids. It is also a stand-alone superhero movie that doesn’t require you to watch a half dozen other films or have read the source material. Ulysses enemy is William, Danny Pudi, a wildlife control officer. Bits of the focused mind of Abed from Community infuses the character of William. That is balanced by plenty of slapstick humor and cartoonish buffoonery.
Flora’s journey through the film is aided by William, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, his neighbor's grandson from England. William suffers from temporary blindness. It is a subtle setup that forces Flora to think of others as she goes on her hero’s journey.
I was not expecting much from Flora and Ulysses, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the film. The cast is great, especially Matilda Lawler. The slapstick humor is a throwback that I want to see more of throughout the industry. The stories of the characters, from interpersonal to between kids to the adults trying to salvage their marriage are relatable for almost anyone. Adding a light superhero sheen to the top makes the film that much better. This is a perfect movie to watch with younger kids, but the parents should also enjoy it.