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Life, Animated

Based on the bestselling book by Ron Suskind, Life, Animated is a heart-warming documentary by Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, which examines how Disney animations helped Ron's autistic son to reconnect with the world and make small yet important steps towards independence. At three years old, Owen Suskind suddenly and inexplicably went silent and the boy was unable to make emotional connections to the people around him or express his thoughts. His father Ron and mother Cornelia feared Owen would be an outcast from the real world for the rest of his life. Over time, the parents were able to use repeat viewings of Disney classics to help Owen understand social conventions and behaviours, and to interpret reality by taking his emotional cues from Simba in The Lion King, Jafar in Aladdin and Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Employing original illustrations to visualise Owen's inner monologue, Life, Animated is a portrait of one young man's extraordinary rites of passage as a part of a loving family, who found an unusual yet effective way to make contact with their son.