Life Animated is a documentary that I first heard about on WHYY when they interviewed Ron Suskind who wrote the story about his son Owen. At the age of two, Owen started to lose his motor skills along with his perfectly structured speech patterns. By three, his words had turned to gibberish and Owen was diagnosed with autism. If you have a child with autism, you’re going to want to see this unique documentary. Since I have a grandson with high functioning autism, I was very interested in seeing Life Animated and learned a lot from Owen’s journey. I learned how he finally developed a way to communicate through the world of Disney, using animated Disney movies. Owen, like my grandson, would watch a movie over and over and over again. I never knew why, I just came to accept that was part of his personality. In Owen’s case, he memorized every Disney, animated movie ever made and used the dialogue as a form of communication.
Eventually, he was able to speak again and express himself to others. He started a club via the internet with other autistic children. Today, Owen is around 25 years old and has his own apartment, a job and independence. He will probably always need help but he’s come a long way. I think this is a very significant film for anyone who knows or has an autistic child. Life Animated is on DVD and is a worthy candidate for Oscar!
[Life Animated is nominated for Best Documentary Feature]