LIFE, ANIMATED are home movies of an adorable, "normal," little boy, along with his youthful-looking, though probably early middle-aged parents. Then we go forward in time to that boy as an adult autistic male, and those parents, who are now seniors. What happened in between is the meat of a new documentary currently making the theatrical rounds and opening here in South Florida today that tries to get us "inside this prison of autism." And what we're seeing here is not mere Asperger syndrome but full-out autism.
While every family that must deal with an autistic child has its own special experience, the thing that made the Suskinds' so unusual was the manner in which the early, classic cartoons of Walt Disney figured into the education of Owen and the ability to reach into his "prison" and at least help to somewhat bring him out of it.
Jonathan Freeman (Jafar's voice in Aladdin) and Gilbert Gottfried (shown above, left: the voice of Jafar's parrot, Iago, in the same film). Yes, this movie is occasionally inspirational and feel-good. But it is more often -- due to the reality of the situation -- very, very sad. After playing major cities like New York and Los Angeles, it will open down here in South Florida at the Lake Worth Playhouse in Lake Worth on Friday August 12, and then here in Boca Raton at Regal's Shadowood 16 and in Miami Beach at the Regal's South Beach 18 on Friday. September 2, and finally in Fort Lauderdale, at the classic Gateway Theater on September 9. Click here then scroll down to see all currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters listed.