8.1/10
160,695
231 user 183 critic

Mary and Max (2009)

Not Rated | | Animation, Comedy, Drama | 9 April 2009 (Australia)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
A tale of friendship between two unlikely pen pals: Mary, a lonely, eight-year-old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max, a forty-four-year old, severely obese man living in New York.

Director:

Adam Elliot

Writer:

Adam Elliot
Reviews
Popularity
4,372 ( 773)
Top Rated Movies #187 | 4 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Massey ... 911 Operator / Ambulance Voice / Derisive Observer (voice) (as Chris Massey)
Oliver Marks Oliver Marks ... Alleyway Bully One (voice)
Daisy Kocher Daisy Kocher ... Alleyway Bully Two / Bird Injury Girl / Bus Stop Girl / Katherine Ramsay (voice)
Daniel Marks Daniel Marks ... Alleyway Bully Three (voice)
Hamish Hughes Hamish Hughes ... Animals (Miscellaneous) / Mad Jury Member / Opera Singer Two (voice)
Dan Doherty Dan Doherty ... BMX Bandit (voice)
Julie Forsyth Julie Forsyth ... Bus Stop Mother / Kissing Woman (voice)
Mandy Mao Mandy Mao ... Cher the Chihuahua / Sonny the Chihuahua (voice)
Eric Bana ... Damien Popodopolous (voice)
Patrick McCabe ... Datsun Sunny Driver (voice)
Adam Elliot ... Dr. Bernard Hazelhof / Garbo Two / Grandpappy Ralph / Ivan Ruby Bevan / Mr. Ravioli / Postmaster / Runover Kitten / Worm (voice)
Mr. Peck Mr. Peck ... Ethel the Rooster (voice)
Michael James Allen Michael James Allen ... Ferrari Driver (voice) (as Michael Allen)
Bill Murphy Bill Murphy ... Frankston Icebreaker One (voice)
Shaun Patten Shaun Patten ... Frankston Icebreaker Two (voice)
Learn more

More Like This 

Up (2009)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

78-year-old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his house equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In order to power the city, monsters have to scare children so that they scream. However, the children are toxic to the monsters, and after a child gets through, 2 monsters realize things may not be what they think.

Directors: Pete Docter, David Silverman, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Mary Gibbs
Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A college professor bonds with an abandoned dog he takes into his home.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Richard Gere, Joan Allen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Klaus (2019)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A simple act of kindness always sparks another, even in a frozen, faraway place. When Smeerensburg's new postman, Jesper, befriends toymaker Klaus, their gifts melt an age-old feud and deliver a sleigh full of holiday traditions.

Directors: Sergio Pablos, Carlos Martínez López
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Rashida Jones
Inside Out I (2015)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After young Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco, her emotions - Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness - conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

Directors: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Stars: Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Lewis Black
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.

Directors: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders
Stars: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Finding Nemo (2003)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Directors: Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich
Stars: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould
Drama | Family | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After a boy loses his sister's pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. When he can't, he tries a new way to "win" a new pair.

Director: Majid Majidi
Stars: Mohammad Amir Naji, Amir Farrokh Hashemian, Bahare Seddiqi
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home.

Director: Lee Unkrich
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
WALL·E (2008)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Director: Andrew Stanton
Stars: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Coco I (2017)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family's ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.

Directors: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Stars: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
Toy Story (1995)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles
Edit

Storyline

In the mid-1970's, a homely, friendless Australian girl of 8 picks a name out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him; she includes a chocolate bar. She's Mary Dinkle, the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distracted father. He's Max Horowitz, an overweight man with Asperger's, living alone in New York. He writes back, with chocolate. Thus begins a 20-year correspondence, interrupted by a stay in an asylum and a few misunderstandings. Mary falls in love with a neighbor, saves money to have a birthmark removed and deals with loss. Max has a friendship with a neighbor, tries to control his weight, and finally gets the dream job. Will the two ever meet face to face? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes perfect strangers make the best friends. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In one of the many letters Mary sends to Max, she sends a picture of her neighbour's dog Sonny digging up the skeleton of his wife Cher. These are the names of Val's pet-dogs from Harvie Krumpet (2003), another animation by Adam Elliot. See more »

Goofs

When the story about the character (Max's upstairs neighbor's friend) who buys a Ferrari is told, the car is shown as having right-hand drive. It's extremely unlikely someone in the US would buy a right-hand drive Ferrari, although of course that would be common in Australia where the movie was made. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Mary Dinkle's eyes were the color of muddy puddles. Her birthmark, the color of poo.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the end credits the next quote appears: "God gave us our relatives; thank God we can choose our friends" by Ethel Watts Mumford. See more »


Soundtracks

Russian Rag
by Elena Kats-Chernin is used by permission of Hal Leonard Astralia Pty. Ltd. exclusive agents for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Lts. of London
Performed by Sydney Alpha Ensemble
Conducted by David Stanhope
Licensed courtesy of Asutralian Broadcasting Corporation
See more »

User Reviews

 
Refreshing and engaging given the home-grown talent involved.
10 April 2009 | by Likes_Ninjas90See all my reviews

In Australia in 1976, a young girl named Mary (voiced by Bethany Whitmore) is a lonely child looking for a friend. She lives with both her parents but her mother is a chain smoking drunk and a thief and her father, who works in a factory putting the strings on teabags, would rather spend time with his collection of dead birds. Mary remains curious about life and finds the address of an American living in New York. She writes him a letter to become his pen pal. The recipient is Max (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a severely overweight Jewish hypochondriac and full-time no-hoper. Gradually, as they send each other letters, Mary and Max's relationship develops and we begin to learn more about their past and their heartache and insecurities of being alone.

Following the short animated film, Harvey Krumpet, director Adam Elliot has constructed his first full feature claymation picture, displaying as much skill as many of the major mainstream studios. The film has been immaculately designed, with many tiny details and features placed into the sets, all of which would have taken many countless hours to mould. The lighting and colour scheme too are significant to the unique look of the film, ranging from highly saturated to almost entirely black and white, to reflect the self-depreciative and sometimes gloomy tone of the narrative. It is a film made of great patience and craftsmanship.

Yet the strongest asset of the film is the humour of the screenplay. Whereas many mainstream animated films such as Shrek and The Incredibles adopt a great deal of hilarity from their pop culture references, Elliot has an eye for the simpler things in life. From the way Mary and Max share their eating habits of chocolate hot dogs, to how Max describes his past jobs, including a street cleaner and a member of the Communist Party, the humour of the film remains truly original, bizarre and often very witty. Elliot excels in his ability write about the most normal things and then turn them on their heads, or degrade his miserable characters in the most hilarious way. Yet there are moments of poignancy too, such as where Mary describes her difficulty at school as she is teased for the birthmark on her forehead, that provide the film's screenplay with a subtext - no matter how simple – about isolation and the need for friends.

The use of Barry Humphries' voice over to convey much of the story is initially highly annoying and intrusive. In the opening scenes it feels overly used and distracting from the story and the detail of the scenes. Gradually though, as the film moves from its opening exposition, the voice over is used slightly less and its scarcity achieves the storybook quality and poetry that it deserves. Barry Humphries reads his lines beautifully. The rest of the voice actors too are splendid. Philip Seymour Hoffman is again in fine form, adding a slight accent to his voice and the decision to model his voice with a character of a similar physique fits nicely. He is quickly become one of the most diverse actors in the world. Bethany Whitmore as the young Mary is equally impressive too and her voice has a real innocence about it. Toni Collette and Eric Bana also have much smaller roles too. It is a well thought out voice cast and while some of the minor characters verge on grotesque, there is still a real sweetness about this film that carries it.

Elliot has described his film as being suitable for everyone. This is rather optimistic. I don't know how particularly young children, who have been conditioned by the more mainstream animated titles, would appreciate the film. It is extremely funny for the most part, but there is also a real sense of gloom around these characters that might not be as appealing to children. And towards the end, the film, despite being well under two hours, begins to lose a bit of momentum as the characters wave in and out of their depleted lives. Perhaps the films message of learning to live with your flaws and accepting the path life has given you is something that children, even if they don't entirely understand now though, needs to be seen anyway. Regardless, it remains a mostly sharp and funny film that many will find refreshing and engaging given the home-grown talent involved.


88 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 231 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

9 April 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Mary and Max See more »

Filming Locations:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

AUD8,240,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,739,445
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Melodrama Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed