Author Kate DiCamillo has experience with her books getting turned into movies, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t still amazed when it happens. “It’s wonderful and it’s also disconcerting,” says DiCamillo. When she first watched Flora & Ulysses, her first thought when it was over was that she wanted to watch it again. “That is a wonderful position for me to be in as the person who wrote the book, but it’s an even better position for me to be in as a human being.”
An unabashed fan of the film, DiCamillo isn’t concerned with the changes that took place between the page and the screen. “When I sat down and watched the movie, I watched it as my eight-year-old self,” says DiCamillo. “It feels to me like what happened between the script and the cast and the directing is that the themes of the book were amplified.”
You might think that the character of Phyllis Buckman (Alyson Hannigan), a romance novelist and Flora’s mother, might be at least partially based on DiCamillo herself. She says any similarities are purely coincidental. “Maybe I’m making fun of myself in a way that I never realized before, which is good. It’s better for me to make fun of myself than for somebody else to make fun of me,” she laughs.
DiCamillo also believes Flora & Ulysses being released now is particularly meaningful. “This seems like doubly loaded and meaningful to me to have this movie go out in this time because it is so much about love and connection.”
Flora & Ulysses is streaming now on Disney+.
About Flora & Ulysses
“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.