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From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED is 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.

The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving three-year-old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent – and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE LION KING, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him.

LIFE, ANIMATED evocatively interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel gave him a means to understand his feelings and allowed him to interpret reality. Beautiful, original animations offer rich insights into Owen’s fruitful dialogue with the Disney oeuvre as he imagines himself heroically facing adversity as a member in a tribe of sidekicks.

Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.


  • Free popcorn courtesy of St. Michael’s Country Day School
  • PARKING: there are limited parking spots on the lawn at St. Michael’s, Enter from Rhode Island Avenue. Cars parked on Rhode Island Avenue & Gibbs Avenue will be ticketed
  • On-site food vendors: Boru Noodle Bar, Acacia Cafe Food Truck, Lemons Aid & Tricycle Ice Cream
  • BYO picnic, blankets & chairs
  • Bike racks on-site provided by Bike Newport
  • Rain Venue: Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody Street, Newport

Free Event – Suggested $5 Donation 

6:45pm: Venue & food vendors open
7:20pm: Pre-film live music featuring Bill Bartholomew
8:30pm: Film, followed by conversation with Pulitzer Prize Winner, Ron Suskind & his wife, Cornelia (parents of the film's subject, featured in the film), moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's Tatiana Seigel
Run time: 91 minutes
Director: Roger Ross Williams
Producers: Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman, & Executive Producers: Molly Thompson, Robert Debitetto, Robert Sharenow, Ron Suskind
Life, Animated
This is a past event

Deeply moving, a warm testament to a family's love and resilience.


Sundance Film Festival WINNER 

Directing Award: U.S. Documentary

A radiant, uplifting story.


If you believe in magic, LIFE ANIMATED, is the movie for you.”


Incredibly moving documentary... A must watch.”

Presenting sponsor of newportFILM Outdoors

Popcorn supported by