Documentary Review: Life, Animated

By Terri

Life, Animated is a documentary based on the life of Owen Suskind, a proud autistic man with a passion for all things Disney. Owen’s sheer honesty and capacity for love is what makes the movie so endearing, and is exactly what is so endearing about the world of Disney itself. Life, Animated tells Owen’s life story (so far—he’s only 23 years old!), beginning when he was a toddler. Owen had always been a normal, happy child, shown sword fighting with his father using sticks in the backyard. Until, with no warning, Owen went completely silent at age three. The sounds he did make were suddenly entirely unintelligible, and his parents struggled with many doctors to find out what was going on with their beloved son. Owen was diagnosed with autism. For years, little Owen showed no improvement—he simply showed contentment when placed in front of a Disney movie with his family. One day, however, after Owen’s older brother’s (Walter Suskind’s) birthday party had come to an end, and Walt seemed pretty sad, Owen said to his parents–ever-so-matter of factly–“Walt doesn’t want to grow up, like Mowgli and Peter Pan.” I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that this is …read more

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