While La La Land is getting most of the Oscar nomination buzz, disability advocates and allies are cheering for Life, Animated–one of five movies nominated for best documentary feature by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The documentary is adapted from journalist Ron Suskind’s book Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism. Suskind, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist who is Jewish, tells the real-life story of his son Owen and how he and his amazing wife Cornelia helped Owen learn to communicate.

Owen has autism and stopped speaking at age 3, but learned to communicate again through his love of Disney animated films.

Using video of Owen, animation based on his drawings and scenes from Disney classics, the documentary brings to life the story of Owen’s unique path to adulthood.

A curriculum guide for educators to go along with the documentary is now available.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer directs Jewish Learning Venture’s Whole Community Inclusion and loves writing/editing for “The New Normal” and for WHYY’s newsworks. Her latest book The Little Gate Crasher is a memoir of her Great-Uncle Mace Bugen, a self-made millionaire and celebrity selfie-artist who was 43 inches tall.