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Life, Animated (PG*) + ScreenTalk

Autism and Cinema

A young man sits on a bed smiling, with a poster of the Little Mermaid behind him

Based on the book Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, this documentary examines the place of animation in the evolving mind map of a child.

Constructed from home video footage, hand-drawn animation and scenes from Disney movies, the film explores the power of animated fable to transfer experience from one domain to another. Following the passion of their son and engaging with the world of Disney, the circle of people around Owen come to understand film as a tool-kit, a strong attractor, a shared vocabulary.    

It screens here with the award-winning animated documentary A is for Autism (Tim Webb, 1992). Each design in the film is based on drawings by autistic contributors and the soundtrack combines their thoughts with piano and flute music performed by autistic performers.

Following the screening, director of A is for Autism, Tim Webb, will be in conversation with Carla MacKinnon, artist and founder of Rich Pickings.

A is for Autism
UK 1992 Dir Tim Webb 11 min digital presentation

Life, Animated
US 2016 Dir Roger Ross Williams 92 min digital presentation

Total event running-time approximately 43 min films

Supported by Wellcome


Carers and companions go free. 

Tickets are also available to book in person or on by phone on 020 7638 8891.

70p telephone booking fee per transaction

*Excludes 60p booking fee

How is this screening Relaxed?

A relaxed event takes place in an environment more suitable for neurodiverse customers as well as those who would benefit from a more informal format. 
The cinema environment is tailored to the needs of the audience.

For this screening:

- The lights are dimmed, though not off.

- The volume levels a little lower than usual.

- Attendees are free to sit in whichever seat they like and can enter and exit the room at any time, with easy access for any wheelchair users.

- Attendees are free to make noise in these screenings. 

- Staff are trained and ready to assist with any help the audience may need during these trips to the cinema at Barbican.


A visual guide to our cinemas is available to download. For more information please contact the Box Office

Part of Inside Out

A year exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity.

Barbican Cinema 3