Life, Animated

Life, Animated

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Life, Animated

Coming-of-age documentary biography on Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate - by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. From director Roger Ross Williams, winner of the Oscar for Best Short Documentary in 2010.

"At three years old, a chatty, energetic little boy named Owen ceased to speak, disappearing into autism with apparently no way out. Almost four years passed and the only stimuli that engaged Owen were Disney films. Then one day, his father donned a puppet - Iago, the wisecracking parrot from Aladdin - and asked “what’s it like to be you?” And poof! Owen replied, with dialogue from the movie.

"Life, Animated tells the remarkable story of how Owen found in Disney animation a pathway to language and a framework for making sense of the world. By evocatively interweaving classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life, the film explores how identification and empathy with characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel forge a conduit for him to understand his feelings and interpret reality." (Sundance Film Festival)

Directing Award (Documentary) winner at Sundance Film Festival 2016
2016Rating: PG, Coarse language88 minsUSA, France
AnimatedDocumentary
Director:
Roger Ross Williams ('God Loves Uganda')
30%
want to see

Streaming (3 Providers)

Reviews & comments

AMAZING!!

This is an incredible story and beautifully told. You'll fall in love with Owen Suskind. I can't remember the last time a film moved me so much. . A beautiful family and the wonderful way they got their son to talk and converse with the world around him. And Owen is just a remarkable, kind hearted young man! I think we all need to be more like Owen. Can't...

5.0
0
Vulture

Vulture

press

I had to fight off skepticism about Life, Animated - it feels a little tidy. But maybe there is something to be gained from identifying with a character onscreen if you have immense difficulty navigating the world.

0
Variety

Variety

press

A warm testament to a family's love and resilience.

0
The Washington Post

The Washington Post

press

"Life, Animated" makes fascinating points, about the power of cinema, about meeting our loved ones where they are and, as Ron says, about who gets to decide what constitutes a meaningful life.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Mr. Williams's decision to prioritise his subject's point of view feels frustratingly restrictive. Belabouring the cartoon connection, the director leaves the family struggles that enrich Mr. Suskind's 2014 book of the same title stubbornly veiled.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It's a beguiling mix of animated storytelling and narration that doesn't flinch from exploring the emotional highs and lows that accompany a life with autism.

5.0
0
Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

A young autistic man connects to the world through Disney animated movies. Instead of false hope, this truly inspirational film offers up possibility, the chance of a stimulus that might get past the blocks of developmental disorder.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The film is a documentary gem.

0
Vulture

Vulture

press

I had to fight off skepticism about Life, Animated - it feels a little tidy. But maybe there is something to be gained from identifying with a character onscreen if you have immense difficulty navigating the world.

0
Variety

Variety

press

A warm testament to a family's love and resilience.

0
The Washington Post

The Washington Post

press

"Life, Animated" makes fascinating points, about the power of cinema, about meeting our loved ones where they are and, as Ron says, about who gets to decide what constitutes a meaningful life.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Mr. Williams's decision to prioritise his subject's point of view feels frustratingly restrictive. Belabouring the cartoon connection, the director leaves the family struggles that enrich Mr. Suskind's 2014 book of the same title stubbornly veiled.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It's a beguiling mix of animated storytelling and narration that doesn't flinch from exploring the emotional highs and lows that accompany a life with autism.

5.0
0
Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

A young autistic man connects to the world through Disney animated movies. Instead of false hope, this truly inspirational film offers up possibility, the chance of a stimulus that might get past the blocks of developmental disorder.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The film is a documentary gem.

0

AMAZING!!

This is an incredible story and beautifully told. You'll fall in love with Owen Suskind. I can't remember the last time a film moved me so much. . A beautiful family and the wonderful way they got their son to talk and converse with the world around him. And Owen is just a remarkable, kind hearted young man! I think we all need to be more like Owen. Can't...

5.0
0