LIFE, ANIMATED – Rated PG – DOCUMENTARY – 1 hr. 29 min

Starring Owen Suskind, Ron Suskind, Jonathan Freeman and Gilbert Gottfried

Directed by Roger Ross Williams and based on the book by Owen’s father, journalist Ron Suskind

As we meet the Suskind family, their son Owen is a bright two-year-old little boy without a care in the world. Suddenly, right before his third birthday, Owen doesn’t hardly sleep, becomes withdrawn from the world and his cognitive abilities begin to slow.   As his parents go from doctor to doctor trying to find out what is happening to their son, they receive the tragic diagnosis that Owen is Autistic.

Struggling to find answers and a way to communicate with their son, Ron, Cornelia and brother Walt too search for any way to reach him in his present state. In their quest, they begin to notice the contentment that overcomes Owen when they watch Disney animated films, as his world seems to be more calm and focused.

When Owen begins to communicate again through “Disney Language”, responding as the characters he loves and relates to in his favorite Disney films, his parents and brother are amazed at how these classic films give Owen “his voice” and a knowledge of the world around him, that he appears to understand.

Now 23, Owen continues to use Disney films as his comfort and guidance, as he learns to deal with becoming a young man, and is determined to rely on the compassion and introspect that these animated classics provide him with, as he ventures into this strange new world…


I enjoy nothing more than a good documentary, and LIFE, ANIMATED is that, and so much more. From learning about the disease of Autism, to learning how the smallest of “miracles” can change a son’s life, and his families too, to understanding the profound wisdom and life-lessons that are captured in each and every Disney classic movie, this film is truly exquisite, in every way. I also suggest that you make a point to take everyone in your family over the age of 12 to catch this one with you, as I was so happy that my youngest could experience this film of tragedy, triumph and perseverance first hand, right along with me.

Kathy Kaiser

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