Flora and Ulysses has allowed me to accept that my memories are in the past


Disney+ photography

The official Disney+ movie poster for original Flora and Ulysses

During third grade, I would spend hours in the library trying to decide which books to check out and which to read over again. Flora and Ulysses was a comfortable go-to book that let me escape and dive into the world where even squirrels can be superheroes.

Seven years later it has been turned into a cinematic film on a popular streaming platform, Disney+. From the cover, I now realize how I have since grown from the fantasy of flying squirrels saving the day.

It starts with a superhero-loving girl, Flora (played by Matilda Lawler), creating her own superheroes, like Incandesto, in her mind. The movie then runs with the idea of a squirrel being sucked up by a lawn vacuum, ultimately giving him powers such as Incandesto

We find Flora is dealing with her parents likely separating as she continues to age through life. The squirrel, which she names Ulysses, seems to have possessed powers that he’s not quite able to master yet. Flora’s mission to help Ulysses grow to the best of his abilities all while running from an animal control officer seems to be overused and repeated. 

I now realize how I have since grown from the fantasy of flying squirrels saving the day.”

I have understood finally that the book I once loved when I was young has now been seen as a childish adventure, but this movie did not bring justice to the book. I found myself annoyed very often at the humor portrayed through the film as well as the actions of the characters. Numerous times I was finding myself thinking critical thoughts of what they should have done or said. 

Too many of these scenes were cliché and almost meant to be seen as merely a joke. Ulysses is supposed to be learning how to develop his powers, yet I hardly saw improvement, as his main motive was eating. 

With Flora’s parents separating, it shows that her family struggles have affected her and becoming friends with a squirrel has brought her new imagination to cling to. Although, the storyline never evolved beyond that. Too many times it had run in a different direction, failing to stay on the main path.

While this would be a good movie to watch with younger audiences that have a wild imagination, I wouldn’t be able to sit through it again. I have settled on leaving my childhood in the past as a good memory instead of attempting to reactivate it with a movie that can’t compensate for it.