- Running time92 minutes
Director: Roger Ross Williams. USA 2016. 92 mins.
Roger Ross Williams’s Life, Animated is one of the year’s most heartwarming and uplifting documentaries. Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Ron Suskind’s 2014 memoir Life, Animated: A Story Of Sidekicks, Heroes And Autism, Williams’s documentary recounts the Suskind family’s 20-year journey to connect with their youngest son, Owen. Diagnosed with regressive autism at the age of three, Owen lost the ability to speak, and developed an obsession with Disney’s animated movies. Latching onto their son’s new-found interest, the family began to converse in Disney dialogue, which eventually helped Owen regain his speech. Over the subsequent years, the Suskinds and their son’s therapist used the famed studio’s output to help Owen connect with the world around him. Enlightening and educational, Life, Animated (winner of the Directing Award at this year’s Sundance) is an inspiring story of triumph over adversity, and a moving celebration of family.
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