*Academy Award Nominee – Best Documentary Feature
Directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED, based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind’s best-selling book Life Animated: a story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, tells the real-life inspirational story of his son Owen, a boy who couldn’t speak for years until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films.
IN PERSON: Roger Ross Williams Wed Oct 12 Rhinebeck 8pm – A co-presentation of The Devereux Foundation and Upstate Films ($12/$10 seniors/$8members)
Owen was a thriving three year old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent, unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE LION KING, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him. LIFE, ANIMATED evocatively interweaves classic Disney animated films with verite scenes from Owen and his family’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel gave him a means to understand his feelings and allowed him to interpret reality. Beautiful, original animations offer rich insights into Owen’s fruitful dialogue with the Disney oeuvre as he imagines himself heroically facing adversity as a member in a tribe of sidekicks.This emotional coming-of-age story, a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can help us survive and thrive, follows Owen as he becomes a young adult and takes his first steps toward independence.
(US / 2016 / Directed by Roger Ross Williams)
PG / 89 mins.