Mary and Max is a clay animation telling the tale of two unlikely pen pals, eight year old Mary from the suburbs of Australia and middle-aged Max, an obese man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome living in New York. Curious Mary begins the pen pal relationship which spans over twenty years as the two converses about their struggle with the people in their lives and their own problems.
The film at first is rather misleading, a style so soft and cutesy leading thoughts of childishness is instantly taken with the lead character questioning about their beliefs of where babies come from after Mary argues with a girl from school. Yet as the relationship continues between the two pen pals we learn more about their feelings of being alone, the discomfort they feel around people and the world and the comfort that each letter brings to the other. Robey writes “We learn a lot about their overlapping enthusiasms, including Max’s five favourite words (ointment, bumblebee, Vladivostock, banana and testicle, for the record), and the deep yearnings for companionship which make the successful delivery of each letter a heart-in-mouth business. Elliot is a talent eccentric enough to make Nick Park look like an office drone and the serious sadness underpinning his vision only makes the humour work better.” (Robey, 2010) With these sometimes wacky letters combined with visuals to tell the experiences of the characters it is a rather comic, heart warming and at times heartbreaking tale that entertains throughout.
Elliot, Adam (2009) Interview: Adam Elliot for Maryand Max
Ivan, Sophie (2010) Mary and Max review
Robey, Tim (2010) Mary and Max Review
Figure 1 - http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/mary_and_max.jpg
Figure 2 - http://thekasen.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/mary-and-max.jpg
Figure 3 - http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lnb1y5sSDG1qdomqvo1_400.jpg
Figure 4 - http://www.allmovia.com/c/9883/9883_3.jpg