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Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams LIFE, ANIMATED is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man living with autism whose life is enriched by Disney animated films, and the unconditional love from his family.
Owen Suskind is an autistic young man who could not speak for years as a child, and yet slowly emerged from his isolation by immersing himself in Disney animated movies. The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen used these films as a roadmap to reconnect with his loving family and the wider world. Winner of the Sundance’s Film Festival’s prestigious Directing Award, “Life, Animated” is an emotional coming-of-age story that shows the next stage of Owen’s journey as he takes his first steps towards independence.
Almost everyone has grown up with classic Disney films, and been influenced by their stories and worldview. But for Owen, Disney was his only point of reference for many years – his guidebook to life. Despite many difficulties, he’s an extraordinary success – he has graduated high school, has a girlfriend, and is looking to move out of home. “Life, Animated” is an unbelievable insight into what it means to live well with autism, and how cinema can be used to help those with social and learning disabilities.
Award winning director Roger Ross Williams brings this extraordinary story to life. And he’s not the only one who has been inspired by it. In what Williams refers to as “The Day He Made the Lawyers Cry”, by screening clips of his documentary, he was able to secure the permissions for a huge number of Disney clips for his film – against all the odds.