Mary and Max is an Australian animation directed and written by Adam Elliot and is about a young Australian girl called Mary played by Toni Collette who has a an Australian but has been dealt a rough hand in life and a lovable man called max played by Philip Seymour Hoffman who suffers from Asperger’s and is just trying to get by in the mad surroundings which is new york city the animation follows the eventually friendship of these to characters and the development of their pen pal friendship and who this affects their lives.
This animation has a an Australian unique style which fits perfectly with the story perfectly and adds another level of humour and depth to the story.
The claymation style with the stop motion animation helps to add a roughness to this world this avoidance of the polished and perfect works for this story and world and creates a grotesque surrealistic world.
Which is both weird and heart-warming at the same time this bold choice not to be perfect could have made most animations miss their marks but instead it has made this animation much more and as Andrew Pulver of the Guardian points out that this is
A very odd, unique unlikely animation film from australia that manages to be sickly cute alarmingly grotesque, and right in at the same time- often in the heart-warming same scene (Pulver 2010)
the story itself is exact in its execution as it could have ended up being quite an unpalatable story due to its dark subjects the story is not dark in the sense of monster and things that go bump but more in the fact that it deals with alcoholism neglect isolation mental illness lose and the shortcomings of people but it's not all doom and gloom as the story is more of a beacon to those who are kindhearted in the world and shows us such a personal story to the characters but a , sweet and beautiful one as Dan Parkinson of Empire reiterates
Tackling such un-animation topics as loneliness, body image, alcoholism, suicide and Asperger’s syndrome, it’s quirky, compassionate and slightly seedily sweet. ( Parkinson 2016)
the sweetness of this animation is solely down to the characters and their development Max and Mary truly win your heart straight away you both ended sorry for them and respect them as they are making the best of their lot in life and this is what director Adam Elliot's got so right in their creation of these character although at the beginning of the film we are told that this is a true story but after researching this film it has come to light why the characters aren't 100% real they are more of a comment on real people
This bold and wise choice as it not to create fictional characters but more representations of day-to-day people and to draw on personal experience this choice is what make this film so good it works unique of style medium and story but the humanity which this film portrays is that of the completely real and readable surreal world which an unpalatable like kindhearted an episode of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends in how it makes the audience feel you are both confused and intrigued it helps to put light on serious issues and subject without being too heavy to put a downer on life and the animation
It may not be every one cup of tea but just for the unique characters and stylised world this film will stand out as piece of animation which Australia can be proud of.
Dan Parkinson. "Mary And Max." Empire. Web. 07 Mar. 2016.
Pulver, Andrew. "Mary and Max – Review." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 21 Oct. 2010. Web. 07 Mar. 2016.