Matilda Lawler is Disney Magic – Flora & Ulysses Movie Review

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Matilda Lawler, who plays Flora in the new Disney’s Flora & Ulysses, personifies a charming but fierce comic book-loving cynic down to a T. Her enthusiasm throughout the movie shines like Disney Magic.

Disney’s Flora & Ulysses will be available exclusively on Disney+ beginning February 19, 2021.

Flora reading an Incandesto comic book.

Flora & Ulysses brings a heart-warming family dealing with challenges that many families deal with to Disney+. Flora tries to approach the world from a cynical vantage point, but Ulysses helps crack this shell and brings hope back into her life.

“What I love about Flora (Flora means flower), she starts kind of closed up like a flower in the beginning. Then kind of opens up, and the flower represents her journey.”

Matilda Lawler
Flora and Ulysses sitting on a bed reading a book.

Lawler is an articulate break-out actor. She captivates even the adult viewers with her delight after rescuing Ulysses. Lawler is joined by Alyson Hannigan, who plays her mother, a romance novelist with a severe case of writer’s block since she separated from her husband, Ben Schwartz, the struggling comic book artist.

Emotions are high when you’re faced with the feeling of failure. Flora & Ulysses offers a message that we shouldn’t go through these times in our lives alone. Whether it’s a friend or family member struggling, and in this movie, it’s every character, sticking together and lifting others up has an effect on everyone.

Related: Flora & Ulysses Activity Sheet

Ulysses enters Flora’s life and saves her much like the heroes in Flora’s comic books (especially Incandesto, her father’s character). But unlike most superhero stories, our hero only has eyes for Flora and what makes her happy. Small but mighty!

“Flora & Ulysses has a good message that a lot of kids can relate to, so I think when something like that comes along kids really grab on to that and like it,” Lawler said. “Flora and I are both curious about the world and we both want to learn as much as we can and get excited about things. I like to think that I’m like Flora because she has such a big heart, and is really just kind.”

While Flora is the most captivating character in the film, her family and new friend go on a journey of growth together that I think audiences will enjoy and learn from. It’s ok to fail; it does not define who you are. It’s just part of the journey that shapes you as a person.

About Flora & Ulysses

Disney’s “Flora & Ulysses” is a 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” stars Matilda Lawler, Alyson Hannigan, Ben Schwartz, Anna Deavere Smith, Danny Pudi, Benjamin Evans Ainsworth, Janeane Garofolo, and Kate McCucci.

It was directed by Lena Khan and produced by Gil Netter. Based on the novel “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” by Kate DiCamillo, the film’s screenplay is by Brad Copeland. Katterli Frauenfelder and James Powers served as executive producers.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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