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Life, Animated (2016)

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A coming of age story about a boy and his family who overcame great challenges by turning Disney animated movies into a language to express love, loss, kinship and brotherhood.

Writers:

Ron Suskind (based on the book by), Emily Hubley (animation writer) | 4 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Owen Suskind ... Himself
Ron Suskind ... Himself
Cornelia Suskind Cornelia Suskind ... Herself
Walter Suskind Walter Suskind ... Himself, Owen Suskind's big brother
Alan Rosenblatt Alan Rosenblatt ... Himself
Emily Jathas Emily Jathas ... Herself, Owen Suskind's girlfriend
Michelle Garcia Winner Michelle Garcia Winner ... Herself, speech language pathologist
Jonathan Freeman ... Himself
Gilbert Gottfried ... Himself
Jeffrey Ortiz Jeffrey Ortiz ... Himself
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Storyline

Owen Suskind was a boy of considerable promise, until he developed autism at the age of 3. As Owen withdrew into his silent state, his parents almost lost hope that he find some way to interact with his world in some meaningful way. However, that way was found through animated films, especially those of the Walt Disney Company, which provided Owen a way to understand the world through its stories to the point of creating his own. This film covers the life of Owen and how he manages to become as functional as possible with the help of Disney and his family to the point of having his own life. However, Owen soon learns as well that there is more to real life than what Disney can illustrate in animation even as his family prepares itself for an uncertain future with him. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His imagination unlocked an amazing new world


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, and language including a suggestive reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 October 2016 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Livstecken See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,070, 8 July 2016

Gross USA:

$244,031
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the film was never made by Disney, it involves Disney in it. See more »

Quotes

Alan Rosenblatt: The image of autism in the early 90's was not terribly flattering.
See more »

Connections

References Shrek (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A joyous documentary on the power of film
18 April 2017 | by eddie_bagginsSee all my reviews

If one were to seek evidence on the powerful impact films can have on people's lives, then Roger Ross Williams documentary Life, Animated would be the perfect start.

A lovingly crafted look at the life of 23 year old Owen Suskind, who at a young age was diagnosed with autism and subsequently went on a quiet lonely path where he no longer communicated with his family or engaged in everyday life, only to have found solace and in many ways saving in the forms of animated Disney films, Life, Animated is an insightful look into not only those affected with Autism but the power that films can enact upon those that fall under their spell.

Utilising a vast array of Disney footage alongside some beautifully drawn original imagery to express Owen's past, future and dreams as well as an abundance of heart-warming moments with Owen and his loving family, Ross Williams has a clear affection for the story his telling and it comes across in every aspect of this Oscar nominated documentary.

It certainly helps Ross Williams cause that Owen is such a fascinating subject matter (Owen's candidness when talking about his life and condition is truly captivating) and it's a joy watching Owen's growth from a struggling adolescent, to a young adult looking to try and make the best with what his been given and the way in which these films that hold such a dear place in his heart express Owen's otherwise hidden feelings is eye-opening in many ways.

Whether it's hearing Owen himself or his mother Cornelia, father Ron or loving older brother Walter talk about these films and their part in Owen's growth, Life, Animated remains constantly engaging throughout as we're allowed access into the inner sanctum of this once in a life time human being's journey to the next stage of his life.

Not without the odd sprinkling of heartbreak, Life, Animated is a mostly joyous documentary that will be enjoyed by those of all ages and Ross Williams insightful examination of various touchy subject matters should be commended, while Disney will likely be thankful that this unofficial plug for their wondrous animations is such a champion for their years of outstanding work in telling important stories in a way that's at once magical and life like in equal doses.

4 Disney fan clubs out of 5


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