The Amazing Adventures of Awesome

By Allison Brownmoore | Animation
A young girl is born into an amazing world that overwhelms her.

A young girl is born into the world, and she is dropped into a landscape of charming objects and engaging sensations. She enjoys many of these, but they occasionally overwhelm her.

She then finds herself at school, navigating a new set of experiences and expectations. Her world shifts and widens with each new experience, and she finds a lot to delight in. But when it all becomes too much and she finds herself caught in a storm, she finds peace in an enchanted forest -- and discovers her magical powers as well.

This gorgeous, captivating animated short has the freshness and charm of children's illustration, with its soft yet clear cheerful colors and whimsical detail, often inspired by the beauty of the natural world. There's a sparkling, delicate musical score as well, with melodic flourishes that engage the ears with a flow of pretty sound.

But the film isn't just a treat for the eyes and ears. Its lovely visuals transmit the beauty of how its main character sees the world, a perspective informed by her autism. But this isn't a narrative of social withdrawal and isolation, though there are small moments in the narrative that allude to the difficulty that autistic individuals face in dealing with the expectations and rules of a neurotypical world. Instead, the main character's unique perspective transforms the world into a land of imaginative enchantment, one that unravels delight after delight.

As our film's young heroine goes to school, attends birthday parties and goes to the fair, we experience the world through her eyes. She becomes charmed by small details; she sees the dance of hats parading instead of the other partygoers; she hears the flow of wind and the chirps of birds. But these are interrupted by loud noises, abrupt movements and other intrusions, and the young girl often needs to find respite. But amid a real and figurative storm, she also finds her magic, in a conclusion that charms, delights and nestles viewers in a fairytale of a journey.

"The Amazing Adventures of Awesome" was inspired by Brownmoore's own experience with her son, who was diagnosed as autistic. While many wonderful films bring awareness to the struggles of trying to fit into a world that often doesn't understand the neurodiverse experience, this short uses the magic of animation to create a gentle feast of serene beauty and enchantment. More than anything, it offers the positives of seeing the world differently. And in that difference -- whether it's from autism or just the quirks and experiences that make us individuals -- we can celebrate a vision of life and self full of joy, optimism, resilience and compassion.

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