Animation has certainly shown itself to be capable of rich imagination and subtle expression (もののけ姫 (Princess Mononoke), for example) . This short animation from Alois Di Leo is moving and amazing:
"Max is a seven-year-old deaf boy growing up in the 1960s. One day he goes on a school trip to the zoo, where he sees a lion for the first time. A feeling begins to grow inside him that will change his life forever."