A is for Autism is an 11-minute, light hearted quasi-documentary film by Tim Webb. This film is regarded as important and thoughtful when discussing the topic of autism especially in children and adults.

The animation was commissioned by Channel Four in 1992, to provide a playful and serious insight on the lives and experiences from those who have diagnosed autism. The animation is composed of a series of drawings created by people with autism, retaining the distinctive qualities of the drawins when animated by Webb. The soundtrack of the film is made up of interviews conducted by Webb, of people with autism. In these interviews, these people talk about their experiences with autism, the hardships that they face, and the interactions that they have with the people and world around them. There is also video footage that play with sounds being made, that can mostly be repetitive in an effective manner.

The animation style can be described as layered. There are beginning animations showcasing rich design and imagery created by those with autism, and sometimes throughout the film there is real-time footage and sound. An example of this would be an autistic girl talking about her fixation with spinning coins, and showing videos of the spinning coins as well as including sound clips of the spinning coin. The scenes weave throughout each other, painting a detailed picture for the viewer on how these individuals live their lives with autism. Animation is important in this documentary, since it can generally be used as an effective tool for story telling. The animation is the only way the effects of this condition could be conveyed. The cast of the animation is mostly autistic individuals (musicians, artists, interviewees), which makes the animation important, inclusive and true to heart without glorifying or painting an unwanted picture of people with autism. The animated documentary is symbolic; autism is represented through the many styles of drawings, the content in the drawings, the video content (lights flickering, coins spinning), and through the music.

What makes this film critically acclaim-able is the directors’ choice to utilize contributors to the animation rather than hire child actors to portray these stories. The film is delivered in its rawest form, is direct and has prevalent honesty that is powerful and effective to the viewer. There is also a sense of relating to the short film, if one suffers from autism, or wants to learn more about the condition through a reliable, enjoyable source.

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