What would you do if your 4 year old child, who once was chatty and super active started to act differently – his motor skills started declining as did his language skills? Life Animated is a true story about a family who learns that the best way to communicate with their son, Owen, is a very uncustomary way.
As in the trailer above, Owen is playing Peter Pan and Captain Hook with his dad and then shortly after he becomes recluse and not the same child he used to be. His parents did everything they could to find out what was happening to their little boy.
An a-ha moment came when Owen did finally “find his voice” and said a line from a Disney movie. It was realized then that Owen used Disney animated movies to make sense of the world around him. He spoke in Disney “dialogue” and would watch a movie that would appropriately reflect what he was feeling at that time. Once his parents recognized this as the way to communicate with him, a whole new world opened up for the family!
At one point Owen created a story, The Land of the Sidekicks, where he is trapped and looking for a hero. The animation throughout the movie is beautifully drawn – especially so in this part. I enjoyed how it was intertwined with real life video!
Life, Animated shows the progression of how his parents and therapists help Owen get ready to move out of his parents house and gain independence. When asked what independent means, he states, “Independent means great and fabulous.”
[Tweet “Independent means great and fabulous. – Owen Suskind, Life, Animated”]
You want to hug Ron and Cornelia when they openly talk about their sadness and what they were going through. BUT, then you want to cheer when you see advancements in Owen’s communication skills. It was a very emotional movie, one I highly recommend.
Directed by Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated is PG and is out in theaters now! I didn’t get a chance to preview this movie with my boys but I want them to see it. It is amazing how there are more vehicles to help people communicate other than the spoken word. I think we should all be thankful for that.
Check out the movie’s website at http://www.lifeanimateddoc.com.