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Snack and Drink

4 min / animation / 1999 / USA

filmmaker: Bob Sabiston


An animation starring Ryan Power, a teenager with autism living in Austin, Texas, which documents his trip to the local store for a snack and drink.

Ryan is a particularly appropriate subject for our animation technique. The dreamlike and fractured nature of our images match the subject matter of his dialog very well. Ryan is a remarkable and engaging kid–we feel fortunate to have met and been able to film him. His mother initially invited us to do the interview–she told us that her son was autistic and obsessed with cartoon animation. It was her feeling that seeing himself animated would have a profound effect on him.

One afternoon in December 1998 we went to Ryan’s house to meet and film him. At first he would not consent to being interviewed. Two strangers with a camera probably made him nervous. He disappeared into the back of the house for a while, and we chatted with his mother and sister. Eventually he reappeared and announced that he was going to 7-11, a convenience store around the corner from his house. We asked if we could accompany him, and he said ok. The whole incident was spontaneous–yet the situation perfectly suited our needs and seemed to relax Ryan enough to talk to us at length. 

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