Life, Animated (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Life, Animated (2016)

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Critic Consensus: Life, Animated offers a heartwarming look at one family's journey, and a fascinating message that's more than enough to outweigh its unanswered questions.

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The inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence.

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Critic Reviews for Life, Animated

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (25)

A terrifically watchable, heartfelt documentary.

December 6, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

"Life, Animated" doesn't try to give a cure-all to autism. It shows how one family approached the complex puzzle with the help of Simba, Sebastian and Lumiere.

July 28, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

It manages to be heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once.

July 22, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

There are moments of joy, revelation, connection, sadness and hope, and the film is very, very moving.

July 22, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Director Roger Ross Williams' storytelling skills are at their finest in an engaging story suffused throughout with emotion that never descends into mawkishness.

July 21, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Toronto Star
Top Critic

This is an intelligent and understated film that nicely presents one very particular life experience that will, in its own way, inspire the viewer.

July 14, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Life, Animated

In 'Life Animated', Roger Ross Williams constructs a very intimate and uplifting portrait of an autistic young man who used Disney animated films as his gateway to getting through life. Throughout the film we see how Owen Suskind became a depraved Autistic boy not able to communicate socially or verbally, though it's only by tapping into his Disney obsessed childhood that he was able to open up to others in a very endearing manner that we eventually see within the documentary's drama. Though it's always fascinating to see how Owen can become a figure for various Autistic kids to look up to, it's the more abstract animated visions of Owen's world and thoughts that eventually become the most eye catching sequences of the film. In a way the film's animated segments give our main subject's subconsciousness a little more light as well as other various flashbacks that play with a child version of Owen. Overall, this might one of the best documentary's of the entire year, I don't think I've seen Autistic people viewed in such an uplifting and fascinating light unless of course it was glamorized by Hollywood in either 'Rainman' or 'Forrest Gump'. Sad to say this film might beat both of those fictionally conceived flicks, this is Highly Recommended for almost everyone and I mean Everyone!!! to really just see and be amazed by it's unique sense and exploration.

Luke Eberhardt
Luke Eberhardt

Super Reviewer

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