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4.8 out of 5 stars143
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 25 January 2011
First off, I had no idea what to expect from reading a tiny review of this film in my Total film magazine. I thought "Oh, that looks interesting" so I decided to give it a look. One of the best films I've ever seen. I've never seen a film like this.... EVER! I love how creative and imaginative this film is. The story is really good and so well put together. I loved the actors as Mary and Max. They were brilliant, no-one else would have done them justice. The visuals are fantastic, quite jaw-dropping. I love the animation. It's heart is in the right place, it's moving, touching, very funny and all in all A brilliant film.

Overall: 10/10= It's refreshing to see a film as brilliant as this when as of recent with 2010 just finishing there were a lot of very good films but quite a collection of tripe as well. I love this film! I highly recommend it to everyone! This film is fantastic.
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Brilliant animated dark comedy about Mary Dinkle a troubled lonely eight year old girl living in Melbourne with her alcoholic mother and distant father and Max Horowitz an obese autistic adult living in New York. It starts when Mary randomly picks Max's address from a telephone directory and writes to him asking where babies come from starting a twenty year correspondence. It's especially funny as it's completely politically incorrect - something you don't often find now. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments but plenty of moral lessons as well , it's one not to be missed. ( It achieved 95% on Rotten Tomatoes review site. ) However I think the 12 rating is too low as there is quite a lot of content that would be awkward to explain to children that young.
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on 17 February 2011
Bought this film after seeing the trailer on YouTube, Didn't know anything much about it, but after watching it thought it was the most emotive piece of animation i have seen in a long time. The characters are great and it is a wonderful story.
The animation was not slick or cgi-ed which only added to it's charm, keeping it simple with traditional methods took me back to early 3D animation that i had watched as a child. I recommend this film to anyone with a love of a good story and a love for animation, it's heartfelt with a great message, enjoy!
I can only hope to see more like this in the future.
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on 9 February 2012
I first watched Harvey Krumpet about 15 years ago and fell in love with the charters and the love that clearly went into making the animation, this being included in the bonus material is a huge plus! if you're looking for a film that will make you think and possibly change your views on the subject of psychological illnesses Mary and Max is the film for you! I've studied psychology and can quite honestly say this film will give you a better insight into the human mind than most text books. I've sat my friends down and forced them to watch this and all but 1 thought it was beautifully animated and admired the hand made sets, the one person who didn't enjoy it, found she could relate to well to one of the characters and their illness, they also admitted to me after watching the film they have a phobia of characters made from clay/ plasticine.
this film requires an attention span, if you don't have one, try and enjoy the beautiful background music, and the work that went into making the scaled down sets and all the little things going on in the background during the quiet moments because its so worth your attention.

In conclusion i cannot recommend it enough, BUT, don't think that because its an animation that its going to be all laughs smiles and happy endings, yes there's parts of this film where i was rolling around on the floor with laughter but within minutes it was teaching me the meaning of friendship. despite being a claymation film its more true to real life than any film I've ever seen.
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on 16 February 2011
`Wallace and Gromit' have dominated the Claymation screen for too long and it's about time they moved over for something far darker and more adult. Enter `Mary and Max', a Claymation film about pen pals, mental illness and a sense of loneliness. Mary is a lonely Australian girl growing up in 1970s Australia. She decides to randomly pick a pen pal from New York; enter Max, a middle aged man with more than his fair share of problems. Through a series of letter they learn about one another and create a relationship that will last a life time, but will either of them ever be truly happy?

`Mary and Max' is a triumphant film on many levels. The animation itself looks great. In truth, the models look very ugly, but that is done on purpose by creator/director Adam Elliot. Elliot has created a very dark and sad world for both Mary and Max; she has an existence of subdued yellows, he entirely in black and white. The characters themselves are no beauties to look at, but their literal warts and all make them feel more human, although they are cartoonish.

It is not just the animation that makes the film work. The story is also exceptional. Elliot has written a sad tale, but is also very funny - the way in which Mary's young mind picks up things and Max's mind distorts them. This dynamic leads to many laughs, although some of the subject matter is sad. The film also benefits from having top quality actors to voice characters; Toni Collette and Philip Seymour Hoffman - both are great character actors in their own right and give nuanced performances here. However, the stand out voice work is done by Bethany Whitmore as Young Mary as she gets the best lines and delivers them perfectly.

With equal parts laughter and sadness, `Mary and Max' is not an out and out comedy, but an intelligent and thought provoking drama that just happens to be made out of clay. The extras are worth watching for the alternative ending alone which gives the film a completely different feel and I am glad that Elliot used the ending he did.

Sammy Recommendation
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on 26 January 2015
Negative reviews about this movie do seriously baffle me.Not sure how it was rated, perhaps as a family movie which in fact is not, but it does only deserve so much better than two or three stars rating. It's the poignant, touchy and often hilarious story of an unlikely friendship between two individuals of different ages who struggle in life for different reasons. Over the years they create a special bond, learn to deal with their own (and each other's) flaws and insecurities and share the good things they have, including slices of cakes and improbable recipes.

Taste is something absolutely personal, but I still cannot believe that some people found "Mary and Max" to be boring or depressing. If you expect some sort of Hollywood style-happy ending-chickflick, this movie is definitely not for you. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it :)
I wouldn't watch it with kids unless you are prepared to discuss with them and answer their questions about mental diseases, sexuality (at some stage Mary asks Max if he knows where kids come from), addictions and death. Recommended to intelligent adults with a quirky sense of humour.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 February 2012
Personally I really loved this. It is a claymation animation about a decades long correspondence between a lonely teenage girl in the Australian suburbs and an overweight man in New York.

There is a near perfect balance between dark humour and misfortune throughout. As the film progresses it is obvious that these characters deserve far better from life than they get, these are two really lovely people with courage and big hearts. The claymation animation grows on you during the film, and it has obviously been done with an enormous attention for detail and sense of humour.

The real strength is the tremendous script, jam packed with great lines, many wonderfully narrated by Barry Humphries. The film is probably not to everyone's taste, but for once the trailer is good reflection of the film, if you like the trailer then you will love the film, if you don't like the trailer then don't bother with the film.
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VINE VOICEon 12 March 2013
This is really clever film. It uses stop frame animation (a mix of Aardman and Tim Burton in style) to tell a very sweet, funny and entertaining story. I found everything about the film to be pretty much perfect. The narration is spot on, the animation very clever and the story and themes very relevant. It all adds up to a very satisfying film. It may not be as well known as many of the other animated movies released in recent years, but as a rough guide, if you are an adult and liked Up, then I'm sure you'll enjoy this.
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on 10 December 2012
I love cartoon films, but Mary and Max projects them into a new genre. These are sad people, in sad colours,with sudden touches of brightness - a bright colour, a filmic reference, an insight that make the characters believable and touching. And it's funny. It makes Disney, mangas and even my beloved Nick Parks seem qauche and vulgar. I hope this young man's family and friends are numerous enough for him to make more films of the same quality.
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on 14 July 2012
I was given this as a Father's Day present by one of my sons who is currently studying 3D animation and I can understand why - it is brilliantly created and the story is quite beautiful.
The film gives a good insight into the mind of a person on the autistic spectrum (though there are many variations).
I won't spoil the ending, but, having a child diagnosed with autism, I was not ready for it and found it quite upsetting.
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