Life, Animated

Riverside Archives

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Riverside Cinema in celebration of
International Day of People with Disability

Life, Animated

Venue Raffertys Theatre
Dates 03 December 2016

“A radiant, uplifting story of an autistic boy who transcends his condition by transferring life’s challenges into the format of a Disney animated movie, the film is a documentary gem.” – Hollywood Reporter

When he was three years old, Owen Suskind stopped speaking. Diagnosed with autism, he was interested in nothing save for the animated films of the Disney company. Immersing himself in these movies, Owen began communicating using only lines spoken by his favourite characters. Using quotes from the likes of Simba, Ariel and Jafar, Owen was finally able to open up, and his family discovered a porthole into their son’s mind.

Inspired by and based on Ron Suskind’s book about his son’s journey from nearly mute toddler to young man seeking independence, Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams’ documentary expertly combines classic Disney sequences and strikingly original hand-drawn animations alongside the Suskind family story. Scoring Williams the award for best directing (US Documentary) at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, it’s a powerful emotional experience and a knockout insight into how art can shine a light in the darkest of places.

“Not only does the film open its audience’s eyes to the world of autism it also sheds new light on the almost Shakespearean qualities of films like The Lion King. Five Stars.” – The Guardian

Classification: PG – Mild themes and coarse language
Distributor: Madman Entertainment

Dates & Times:
Saturday 3 December 3pm

Directed & Produced by ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS




Cinematography by TOM BERGMANN


Original Music by DYLAN STARK, T. GRIFFIN

Score Produced by T. GRIFFIN

Executive Producer RON SUSKIND


Production Coordinator SEAN LYNESS

Original Animation MAC GUFF

Title Sequence and Graphics TROLLBÄCK + COMPANY

A captivating portrait of a young man for whom Disney animated movies have provided a powerful lifeline to progress, language and understanding.
Justin Chang, Variety

Instead of false hope, it offers up possibility, the chance of a stimulus that might get past the blocks of developmental disorder.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Like the Disney movie clips that flood its frames, this too-tentative look at how a bound mind found freedom in animation leaves us in little doubt of a happy ending.
Jeannette Catsoulis, The NYTimes

Incredibly moving documentary takes us into the interior life of an autistic person, and explores how films helped him communicate with the outside world.
Lanre Bakare, The Guardian

Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams beautifully captures the unbelievably emotional story of a young man with autism and his lifelong love of Disney movies, which allow him to process the world.
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media

Observing Owen watch The Little Mermaid or Aladdin or The Lion King, I found it hard not to cry. And I don’t particularly even like Disney animation.
David Edelstein, Vulture

The story is an inspiring one, made even more emotionally stirring by the radiant, resilient, high-functioning young man at its center.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post


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Approximately 1 hour 32 minutes (No interval)

Ticket Prices

Sidekicks Adult $12
Sidekicks Concession $9
Adult $15
Concession $12
F/T Student $12
Child Under 16 $10

Transaction fees apply

Phone $4.60
Web $3.60
Counter $2.60
Screen $1.65
School Bookings $4.00

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