I’ve always loved claymation. Even though there are some who see it as an older art form and inferior to modern-day animation, there is something about the care put into making this style of stop-motion animation that really lets the artist express what they mean.
This is very evident in “Mary and Max”, an emotional story about two very unlikely pen pals. Mary, a friendless eight-year-old girl from Australia, chooses to write to someone from America on a whim. She selects at random Max, a very single and obese man living in downtown New York. Thus begins a twenty year friendship, but not without a few of life’s bumps along the way.
Based on a true story, because something like this couldn’t have been dreamed up by even the best writers in Hollywood. The reality that surrounds these characters is beautiful and ugly.
The voice-over acting was amazing, with both Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette bringing life to their troubled characters. Barry Humphries is amazing with his narration of the events, and his timing is dead-on.
The angles and photography are great, with well-picked color choice for Mary and Max’s separate worlds. The sets are a little over-used, as well as the in-between shots being reused, but it was hardly noticeable.
The soundtrack was amazing, with variations on several different musical themes being used to punctuate emotional scenes. The pickup of the voice artists, as well as the sound effects were good as well. I also liked the really unique style of clay work and character design.
A wonderful story framed in a unique looking world and given life by great actors.
A great watch for drama-loving adults, maybe for some mature young adults. PG-13 for a reason, not for the regular “Wallace and Gromit” crowd, but still very good.