Waking Life is a 2001 American animated drama film directed by Richard Linklater. It was distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures and it was the first (and only so far) animated film released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film explores a wide range of philosophical issues including the nature of reality, dreams, consciousness, the meaning of life, and free will (existentialism). Waking Life is centered on a young man who wanders through a variety of dream-like realities wherein he encounters numerous individuals who willingly engage in insightful philosophical discussions. Many questions are posed by the film: How can a person distinguish their dream life from their waking life? Do dreams have any sort of hidden significance or purpose?