Mary and Max (2009) is a stop motion clay animation directed by Australian born Adam Elliott. Though the clayography isn’t as pristine as his other works, like Harvie Krumpet (2003), it still retains a charming bleakness about it. The animation short won four times including the Australian Directors Guild Award and an impressive five nominations. With the lumpy characters and lack of colour, on the outside it makes the film appear dull, however, this is juxtaposed with the story and script voiced by a star cast including Barry Humphries (a famous Australian comedian), Toni Collet (Australian born Academy-Award nominated actress) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
The story surrounds two characters; Mary Daisy Dinkle, an eight year old girl with an alcoholic for a mother and a rooster for a pet, and Max Horowitz an overweight, lonely man who has asperges’ syndrome. Mary, by chance contacts Max via a handwritten letter, and the two remain pen pals, informing each other of their day to day activities and life events.
This animation takes a different approach to how we see and interpret other peoples life experiences and difficulties. It is a more light hearted and humorous approach where we don’t feel so uncomfortable confronting something we cant relate to or understand. The editing was slow but it complimented the atmosphere as the claymation is handcrafted and takes time so this would roll over into the pacing of the story. I would recommend it for somebody interested in animation and fancies a light hearted and uplifting story.