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2 items from 2016

Interview: Roger Ross Williams on his stunning documentary ‘Life, Animated’

6 December 2016 7:28 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Opening in selected UK cinemas this week is the stunning documentary Life, Animated, a deeply personal story of Owen, an young man in his early twenties who overcame issues with his autism through Disney films. By watching films like Peter Pan, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, he went from a life where he was unable to talk to leaving home and living independently, something we witness in this powerful, moving documentary from Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams.

Owen Suskind in Life, Animated

We caught up with Roger to talk about this wonderful movie.

The Hollywood News: Roger, thanks for taking the time to speak with us.

Roger Ross Williams: Absolutely, no problem

I saw the film yesterday and thought it was truly remarkable, so congratulations on it.

Thank you so much.

I just want to start off by going back to the start and how you became aware of »

- Paul Heath

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Film Review: ‘Life, Animated’

6 February 2016 8:34 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The busy subgenre of documentaries featuring autistic subjects gets a strong new entry in “Life, Animated,” a captivating portrait of a young man for whom Disney animated movies have provided a powerful lifeline to progress, language and understanding. Interweaving clips from “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Peter Pan” and any number of toon classics whose words and images the 23-year-old Owen Suskind has long committed to memory, this latest film from Roger Ross Williams (“God Loves Uganda”) teems with insights into how children’s fantasy can and can’t bridge a developmental gap, but works on an even more basic, emotional level as a warm testament to a family’s love and resilience. Acquired for North American distribution by the Orchard, this winner of a Sundance directing prize could benefit from its accessible hook and generous sampling of Disney clips to reach a wider-than-usual audience for nonfiction titles of its type. »

- Justin Chang

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