Disney Debuts ‘Out of My Mind’ Film About a Non-Verbal Sixth Grader With Special Needs & the Message is as Beautiful as the Story

disney's out of my mind film
Credit: Disney/Disney+

On Friday, Disney debuted its long-awaited film adaptation of the novel Out of My Mind about a nonverbal sixth grader who has cerebral palsy and a bright and beautiful mind.

disney out of my mind

Credit: Disney

Disney’s Out of My Mind (2024) was first announced in May 2022. The film is adapted from the novel of the same name written by author Sharon Draper.

The film was directed by Amber Sealey, written by Daniel Stiepleman, and stars Phoebe-Rae Taylor in her screen debut, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Kirby, and Judith Light.

Out of My Mind is the story of Melody Brooks, a vibrant sixth grader who has cerebral palsy, which means she must navigate the world around her with the help of a wheelchair. Melody’s mind is bright and brilliant, but not everyone knows that, as Melody is also nonverbal.

Disney Casts Teen With Cerebral Palsy for Film Adaptation of 'Out of My Mind'  :

Credit: DisneyFanatic

Melody has “a quick wit and a sharp mind,” according to a news release by Disney+. She’s very intelligent, but because she uses a wheelchair and is nonverbal, the young girl is “not given the same academic opportunities as her classmates.”

But Melody has a young educator who notices her potential and encourages her to step into the mainstream educational system. Both Melody and Katherine know the path can lead to even greater successes for Melody–but those successes won’t come without challenges as well.

disney out of my mind sundance film festival

Credit: Sundance Institute/Disney/Canva

Out of My Mind debuted on Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, and the message within the film is just as beautiful as the story and the people who are in it. As Melody navigates daily challenges within the education system, as well as outside the system, the young girl learns a little about herself while teaching those around her as well.

All in all, the beautiful message of Disney’s Out of My Mind is one that’s good for everyone to learn: what a person has to say is far more important than the methods by which they say it.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!