- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 33 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: May 13, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: New Video Group
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Additional Release Material:
- Deleted Scenes
- About Autism Speaks
- About The Miracle Project
Performers, Cast and Crew:
This inspiring documentary follows the trials and triumphs of a group of autistic children who attempt to create and perform their own musical. AUTISM: THE MUSICAL begins with the sobering statistic that, a decade ago, doctors diagnosed autism in only one child in 10,000, but today one in 166 children is affected by the disorder. But things look up from there. Though each child in the film struggles with his or her individual challenges, this documentary provides an ultimately hopeful picture. Inspired by her autistic son's response to creative play, single mother Elaine Hall organizes the Miracle Project, which unites autistic children and their families in the creation of a musical.
AUTISM: THE MUSICAL focuses on five children: energetic Henry, who boasts encyclopedic knowledge of dinosaurs and reptiles; quiet, angel-voiced Lexi; girl-crazy Adam, an enthusiastic cello player; Neal, Elaine's son, who is nearly silent; and chatty Wyatt, who endures bullying at school. By featuring a variety of kids whose autism is manifested in unique ways, the film gives a well-rounded picture of the disorder and its effects on families. AUTISM: THE MUSICAL bounces between each child's history and his or her present efforts at the Miracle Project in Los Angeles. It echoes past documentary hits such as SPELLBOUND, but the children here have very different challenges. Audiences watching the film can expect tears of heartache at their plight, but each will be balanced by peals of laughter at the antics of the lovable children.
Description by New Video Group:
AUTISM: THE MUSICAL follows five children with autism, their parents, and the extraordinary acting coach Elaine Hall as they improbably and heroically mount a full-length original stage production. Through trial and error, tears and laughter, these incredible families learn to communicate their feelings in song and performance, finding solace and joy in the act of creating. A veritable feast of astounding breakthroughs and heartbreaking hardship, this spellbinding film is a musical celebration of kids living with this increasingly prevalent disorder. Director Tricia Regan vividly captures the individual personalities and problems of each child, from precocious Henry who talks a mile-a-minute about dinosaurs to Neal, a sensitive and articulate boy who nonetheless struggles to speak at all. The parents, too, are fascinating studies in unconditional love, especially Elaine, the mastermind behind the musical and mother of Neal. A consciousness-raising and empathetic portrait of children and their families living with autism, AUTISM: THE MUSICAL celebrates the spark of humanity in each of us. "Moving, dramatic, therapeutic and unburdened by reliance on talking heads" (Variety), this film will change the way you look at autism.