The author and cast of the upcoming Disney+ film “Flora and Ulysses” met for a Q&A. Here’s the scoop from the cast of “Flora and Ulysses,” where they shared stories of on-set hijinx and fun facts about the film.
Actors Matilda Lawler, Alyson Hannigan, Ben Schwartz, Danny Pudi, Lena Khan, and author Kate DiCamillo were present for the Q&A.
Disney saw over 1000 actresses for the role of Flora Buckman. Matilda Lawler, who plays the titular Flora, was the top pick. Lawler described the moment when she learned she got the role.
“I was in this show, this Broadway show, and I was actually, like, in the middle of the city, huge crowds everywhere, I got a phone call from Lena. And I hold it to my phone and, like, I can barely hear her, and I hear her say, ‘You wanna be in this movie?’ And I’m like, ‘Yes.’”
Alyson and her Lollipops
While filming, Alyson Hannigan shared that she consumed over 37 lollipops. “I had to be really thoughtful about the lollipop because I was like, ‘well, I don’t want it too big ’cause I don’t wanna, like, drool when I’m, you know, taking it outta my mouth and stuff.’” Hannigan revealed that the flavor she settled on was fruit punch.
Themes of “Flora and Ulysses”
“Flora and Ulysses” contains themes of love and hope. When asked about the importance of these themes, Hannigan said that “especially now in this time, for me, hope is everything.”
Hannigan also said that the book and film “doesn’t shy away from reality. Things get hard, people get distracted, and they lose track of where their focus should be. Then it takes a superhero squirrel to remind you of what you should be focused on.”
An Unintentional Ducktales Reunion
“Flora and Ulysses” features many actors also from Disney XD’s “Ducktales” reboot. Ben Schwartz, Danny Pudi, Bobby Moynihan, and Kate Micucci voice the Duck brothers and Webby Vanderduck.
“You know, after we got the first couple, then yeah. Then we’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s just go with it,’” joked director Lena Khan when asked if getting all the “Ducktales” voice actors was intentional. Khan also praised the voice cast, saying, “everybody from that show is fantastic.”
Inspired by Ducktales, the film also features many “Ducktales” and duck-related easter eggs for viewers to find.
The Cast Spoils a Marvel Easter Egg
During the Q&A, the cast failed to stay tight-lipped about a certain Marvel reference in the film. At one point in the film, Lawler says, “I love you 3000,” a callback to Robert Downey Jr.’s line from “Avengers Endgame.”
The cast teased more Marvel and superhero references in the film that fans are bound to recognize.
The Challenges of Fake Animals
The film utilized both real and fake squirrels for filming. Since it is tough to get a squirrel to cooperate and do a superhero landing pose, Khan resorted to using a CGI squirrel for many sequences. However, for certain scenes, real squirrels were used sparingly.
“We did use-I got to have two squirrels on my lap and they were trained, and they did tricks, but they couldn’t do everything that Ulysses did, so then we kinda just had to create Ulysses,” says Khan.
Having the most scenes with Ulysses, Lawler shared her experience acting with a CGI squirrel. When practicing these scenes, she would use a plush squirrel to see where Ulysses is. This plush would be swapped out for a “gray, creepy, like, rat thing that kinda looked like a rat” when real filming took place, says Lawler.
Lawler also cited Khan’s directing when working with the CGI squirrel. “Lena, you were kind of my squirrel at some points,” says Lawler.
The Cast’s Favorite Snacks
“Flora and Ulysses” features many yummy snack foods that will make viewers hungry after watching the film. The cast of the film each shared their favorite snack featured on-screen.
DiCamillo and Khan said their favorite on-screen snack was “Cheese-O-Mania Cheese-Puffs” (these two creators are definitely thinking alike).
True to her character, Hannigan said her favorite on-screen snack was lollipops. She wouldn’t mind going for some peanut butter M&Ms however.
Schwartz and Pudi both agreed on “giant donuts” being their favorite.
Finally, Lawler’s favorite on-screen snack was “Pop-Tarts.”
“Flora and Ulysses” premieres on Disney+ on Feb. 19, 2021. For more “Flora and Ulysses” coverage, check out our scoop on Kate DiCamillo, author of the book.