Almost everyone has memories of growing up watching Disney movies. Whether it was in theaters or on VHS, the animated movies of Walt Disney Pictures have touched billions. But for one young man, they helped him cope with autism and connect to a world that he struggled to understand.
Life, Animated tells the story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was stricken with autism at a young age. The documentary tells his life story as we follow Owen, now a twentysomething young man, as he sets out to live in his own apartment for the first time. And in this story, we see how Disney movies changed his life by way of clips from the movies, reenactment by Owen himself, and some gorgeous original animation as well.
As you may have seen in the trailer with the first featured review quote, our own Peter Sciretta adored this film when it played at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. In his review, Peter noted:
"Touching, thoughtful and heartwarming, Life, Animated is a very emotional tale of both film and family. Be warned that this film is a tearjerker — I can’t even remember how many times I teared up during this film. In fact, I have to hold back the tears just thinking back at this very moving story."
Even if you read the New York Times article “Reaching My Son Through Disney,” or read Ron Suskind’s book Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, you’ll find this documentary to be a fascinating glimpse into the life of Owen Suskind. Having seen the movie myself at Sundance, I can tell you that this movie is truly touching, and it will undoubtedly bring some tears to your eyes. Plus, there are some wonderful, surprise appearances by some trademark Disney voice actors and filmmakers.
Life, Animated opens on July 1st, and you can see when and where it’ll be playing right here.
Banner Photo Credit: New York Times