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Production Begins on Disney+ Super-Squirrel Movie ‘Flora & Ulysses’

Production started this week in Vancouver on Walt Disney Pictures’ Flora & Ulysses, directed by Lena Khan and based on the Newberry Award-winning children’s book, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo. The film is being produced for the upcoming streaming service Disney+, which launches in the U.S. on November 12.

Khan made waves with her first feature film The Tiger Hunter (2017), financed by crowdfunding. The comedy about a South Asian Muslim immigrant attempting to find his way in 1970s America garnered positive reviews for Khan, a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and spotlighted her talents as a Muslim woman behind the camera.

Flora & Ulysses tells the story of 10-year-old Flora, an avid comic-book fan and a self-avowed cynic, who saves a squirrel she names Ulysses only to have its unique superhero powers wreak havoc in a series of humorous, antic-filled adventures that ultimately change Flora’s life — and her outlook — forever.

Matilda Lawler makes her film debut as Flora — she currently stars on Broadway as Honor Carney in Jez Butterworth’s Tony Award-winning play The Ferryman, directed by Sam Mendes. Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother, American Pie) plays Flora’s romance-writer mother, Phyllis; and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation, Modern Family) plays the role of her world-weary, estranged father, George. Newcomer Benjamin Evans Ainsworth plays William, Flora’s newfound, but annoying, friend; and Danny Pudi (Community, The Tiger Hunter) joins the cast as Miller, an overly zealous animal control officer.

Flora & Ulysses is produced by Academy Award nominee Gil Netter (Life of Pi, The Blind Side, Marley and Me), and James Powers (The Maze Runner series) and Katterli Frauenfelder (Dumbo, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) are the executive producers. The book was adapted for the screen by Brad Copeland (Ferdinand, Wild Hogs).

Khan’s talented filmmaking team also includes director of photography Andrew Dunn (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Crazy, Stupid, Love.); production designer Michael Fitzgerald (Medal of Honor, The Tiger Hunter); editor Lee Haxall (Always Be My Maybe); and costume designer Mona May (Santa Clarita Diet, Enchanted).

Flora & Ulysses

Flora & Ulysses

Lena Khan

Lena Khan

Animation Magazine

CVS Begins Testing of All Vitamins, Supplements

May 15, 20-19 — CVS Pharmacy is launching a new program that will require all of its vitamins and supplements — in-store and online — to be tested by a third party, so it can make sure label information is correct and guard against contamination.

The move, the first of its kind by as major U.S. retailer, comes amid rising concerns that vitamins and supplements are poorly regulated. While the FDA does keep an eye on vitamins and supplements after they hit the market, the agency is not required to screen their contents to make sure they’re correct — and the agency can take them off the market only if they’re proven to be unsafe, misbranded, or if the manufacturer claims the product cures disease.

That’s why CVS started the “Tested to Be Trusted” program — to give customers confidence that what’s on the label matches what’s inside the bottle, says George Coleman, senior vice president of merchandising at CVS.

More than 1,400 vitamins and supplements from 152 brands have already been tested — and 7% of them failed the inspection. Those products were either pulled from store shelves or had their label information corrected. Coleman says that 22 products were removed from store shelves, in total, and that they could have failed for a number of reasons. He declined to name the products that failed the tests.

“If it said it was gluten-free and it turned out there was some gluten in it, that would cause a failure. If there was an allergen in it, like tree nuts that weren’t listed, that would cause a failure,” he says.

The “Tested to Be Trusted” program is also aimed at making sure the products are free from any contaminants that could harm consumers, including heavy metals and certain pesticides.

According to CVS’s website, tests will be done on a single lot of the vitamin or supplement, and third-party testing for later batches will not be required — but it will continue to test any new products before they hit shelves.

All products must have their labels verified by NSF International or U.S. Pharmacopeia, or take part in CVS’s third-party testing program run by NSF International or Eurofins, a lab specializing in food and medical products.

Sources

Interview, George Coleman, CVS senior vice president of merchandising.

FDA.gov: “FDA 101: Dietary Supplements.”

CVSHealth: “CVS Pharmacy Launches ‘Tested to Be Trusted’ Program for Vitamins and Supplements, Launches Self-Care Campaign to Highlight Purpose-Led Initiatives and Expanded Product Assortment.”

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