Autism-friendly Movies

Consider checking out these films and shows to watch with your family! These films feature autistic characters, provide sensory-friendly viewing experiences, and/or have themes that resonate with autistic individuals. The Disney and Pixar selections are popular on our campus!

  1. Temple Grandin (2010)

This biographical drama portrays the life of Temple Grandin, an autistic woman who became one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry. The film provides an insightful look into her life, challenges, and accomplishments. Accurate portrayal of an autistic protagonist, inspirational, and educational.

  1. Atypical (2017-2021)

A Netflix series that follows Sam Gardner, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum, as he searches for independence and love. The series provides a nuanced portrayal of autism and covers various aspects of life from the perspective of an autistic teenager.

  1. Inside Out (2015)

This animated film from Pixar explores the emotions a young girl named Riley experiences as she navigates a major life change. The clear and relatable depiction of emotions can help autistic viewers understand and articulate their own feelings better. The film’s imaginative visual style and straightforward narrative can also be engaging without overwhelming sensory inputs.

  1. Finding Dory (2016)

The sequel to Finding Nemo, this film follows Dory, a fish with short-term memory loss, as she embarks on a journey to find her family. Dory’s experiences and challenges can resonate with autistic individuals, particularly those who face similar cognitive challenges.

  1. Life, Animated (2016)

A documentary that tells the story of Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who learns to communicate through watching Disney animated films. The film highlights the potential of using special interests as a tool for communication and development in autistic individuals.

  1. The Peanuts Movie (2015)

This animated film features Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang in a new adventure. The gentle humor and familiar characters make it a comfortable viewing experience for autistic individuals.

  1. Moana (2016)

This Disney animated film follows Moana, a young Polynesian girl, as she embarks on a daring journey to save her people. The film’s positive messages about self-discovery and bravery, combined with vibrant visuals and music, make it engaging for many viewers.

  1. The Incredibles (2004)

A Pixar film about a family of superheroes who must come out of retirement to save the world. The film’s focus on family dynamics and acceptance of individual differences can be relatable and reassuring.

  1. Mary and Max (2009)

An animated film about an unlikely friendship between Mary, a lonely eight-year-old girl in Australia, and Max, a 44-year-old man with Asperger’s syndrome in New York. The film offers a poignant and accurate depiction of Asperger’s syndrome and the value of friendships.

  1. The Lego Movie (2014)

An animated film where an ordinary Lego figure, Emmet, is mistakenly identified as the key to saving the world. Its visually stimulating and imaginative storyline appeals to many autistic viewers, particularly those with an interest in Legos.


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