Ron Suskind is an amazing writer. He has a Pulitzer in hand and four New York Times bestselling books to his credit to bear witness. Nothing in his accomplished life, however, could prepare him for the heartache, trials, joy and peace that are the subject of his 2014 family memoir, “Life, Animated.”
Prior to the onset of Owen’s autism, the Suskind family, Ron, Cornelia, Owen and Owen’s older brother Walt, spent many cherished moments watching Disney movies together. Owen in particular reveled in the characters of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Lion King.
After the onset of Owen’s developmental disorder, the family continued to find comfort in the Disney classics. Initially it was a retreat to a simpler time and place, but overtime they noticed that Owen was mimicking the characters’ dialog. They discovered that in the safety of the movie characters, Owen was finding a voice with which he could communicate.
This intriguing story evolves over a 20-year-period that Ron Suskind documents so lovingly. It is the story of sidekicks and villains, real and imagined. It is the story of a real life hero; Owens’s brother, Walt, who like a true movie sidekick has always been there.
“Life, Animated” is a heart-wrenching and heartwarming tale of love and hope. It will move and inspire you. It will make you a better human being.