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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Flora & Ulysses ★★★

Lena Khan

Starring Matilda Lawler, Alyson Hannigan, Ben Schwartz, Danny Pudi, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth

When the concept of a superhero squirrel hits your radar, the only thing to be is circumspect. These family films that so regularly fill our minds with animation are often straight-to-DVD washouts with a lack of character. But that is not the case with the new Disney+ original Flora & Ulysses.

When Flora (Matilda Lawler) gives mouth to mouth to a squirrel named Ulysses, he comes back to life with superhero abilities. Flora is an intelligent, often too smart girl, whose vocabulary exceeds that of a typical child; just giving the name of Ulysses to a pet says it all. And this intelligence does come across a little irritating, not due to Lawler's performance which is full of heart but due to a weak script.

The inclusion of Alyson Hannigan and Ben Schwartz adds even more childlike energy through their electric chemistry. They embraced everything as did Danny Pudi as Miller.

The stealing performance for me however was Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as William. The fact that the film chose to embrace the comedy of his ”temporary condition” instead of treading carefully around it was ingenious. And it created some laugh-out-loud moments. I applaud Disney for that!

My nerves were soon eradicated as the wonderful cast and fun-filled concept hooked me in for a watch full of laughs. And although in many places the script's punchlines are weak, the film excels when it lets its actors perform and makes quirky comedic decisions. "Holy Bagumba" this was fun.

Flora & Ulysses available now on Disney+

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