Customer Review

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 25 Oct 2010
This review is from: Mary & Max [DVD] (DVD)
In recent years there has been a rapid decline in the output of clay animation films. This would appear to be due to the huge increase in CGI animation films from Hollywood, such as Wall E (Andrew Stanton,2008), Up (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, 2009) and Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010) to name but a few. The highly polished, glossy sheen of these films seems to have made the homemade, hand-crafted aesthetic of clay animation a thing of the past. Not, that I am criticising the above mentioned films, on the contrary, I am a huge fan of each, all three being shining examples of just how charming and moving, huge budget Hollywood CGI movies can be when placed in the right hands. However, it is still saddening to see such an imbalance of animation styles on our screens these days.

Thankfully, Adam Elliot's latest clay animation or `clayography' Mary and Max goes someway to redress this balance. A film of astonishing beauty, Mary and Max is undoubtedly one of THE films of the year. Taking place over the course of twenty years and spanning two continents, the film follows the relationship of pen pals Mary, an eight year old child from Australia, and Max, a forty four year old Jewish man living in New York, suffering from Aspergers syndrome. Through this relationship, Elliot explores the film's central themes of loneliness, mental illness, love and friendship, all with a deft balance of humour, sadness and subtlety.

Firstly, the clay animation is absolutely impeccable. With an aesthetic that is deceptively child-like, one could easily overlook just how painstaking a process the animation in Mary and Max must have been. This is certainly to the animators and director's credit, as the style is never too showy or distracting from the unfolding story. Instead, it draws its audience in delicately, allowing its tones and shades to assist in setting the mood.

The balance between the child-like tone and the film's adult central themes is superbly offset by the narration provided by Barry Humphries, lending itself perfectly to the style of the animation, and allowing the story to be told in way that would be equally fitting to a child's fairy tale. This is also true of the vocal talent provided by Toni Collette and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Mary and Max respectively, with each adding an extra layer of depth to their characterisation.

The combination of each of these elements makes for a truly exceptional piece of work. Although there are moments of heart-wrenching sadness and a lingering sense of melancholic loneliness throughout, there are also enough moments of quirky humour and touching tenderness to render Mary and Max, at times both uplifting and heart-warming. The depth and development of each and every character engages with the viewer in a manner, which would usually seem impossible through animation, such is the strength of Elliot's script.

For me, Mary and Max should be held in the same regard as Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) as a genuine classic of the clay animation genre. As a genre which is growing ever more redundant at the hand of Hollywood studios' penchant for big budget 3D and CGI animations, gems such as Mary and Max will inevitably become an even rarer commodity in contemporary cinema, which is why EVERYONE should go see this film at least twice! It really is that good.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.8 out of 5 stars (107 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (90)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
£15.99 £6.00
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Herts, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 205,676