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Mary and Max (2009)

Not Rated | | Animation, Comedy, Drama | 9 April 2009 (Australia)
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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.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Narrator (voice)
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Damien (voice)
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Renée Geyer ...
Ian 'Molly' Meldrum ...
Homeless Man (voice)
Julie Forsyth ...
Additional Voices (voice)
John Flaus ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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911 Operator (as Chris Massey)
Shaun Patten ...
Frankston Icebreaker Two (voice)
Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen ...
New York Callgirl (voice)
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Post Office Customer (voice)
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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

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Sometimes perfect strangers make the best friends. See more »


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Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 April 2009 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Mary & Max  »

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Budget:

AUD 8,240,000 (estimated)
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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took 2400 teaspoons of lubricant to create the ocean when Max imagines himself on a desert island. See more »

Goofs

When Mary looks through the phone book in the post office, the name reads M J A Horowitz. When she writes the first letter, she writes to M J Horowitz. However, when she mails the first letter, the name on the envelope she posts is "Max Horowitz". See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

That Happy Feeling
Written by Kofi Ghanaba (as Guy Warren)
Performed by Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Mary & Max - wonderfully unique and personal animation
14 April 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

There's a constant stream of animated films these days, but mostly they're either glossy Hollywood product (Pixar/Dreamworks), or Japanese anime. For adults wanting something different we have to wait for the likes of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Waltz With Bashir, Persepolis, or Aardman's films to turn up. Mary & Max is one of these films that comes as a complete departure from all the others, both in visual and storytelling style, and sticks in the mind because of it. I won't repeat the plot here, so I'll just mention a few pros and cons. The cons are obvious. Some people will be put off by the almost constant narration (which took me a while to get used to), the rather numerous calamities (a lot more than you'd expect if you thought this was just a kids film), and the sadness within some of these people's stories. It's actually a little surprising that the film got made without the people financing it demanding a script that was more tailored to appeal to a wider audience. What we get is something that feels a whole lot more personal than the higher profile animated films. It feels personal, and therefore real, and the explanation is that it was written from life by a director who has a real feeling and sympathy for people who don't quite fit into the world, and feel alienated or are misunderstood by others. Mary was partly inspired by the director's own childhood (and there's a little bit of Toni Collette's Muriel Heslop thrown in I suspect), and Max is also based on a real person he's been pen friends with (but so far has never met in person). The way the film handles his Asperger's Syndrome just feels different to how you'd normally see such an issue handled on screen. There's a constant stream of humour (ironic, black, childish), and I really enjoyed the small perfect touches on growing up in an Australian suburb in the 70's and 80's, and the depiction of grey New York, as it appears to the easily frightened Max. The animation is constantly a joy to watch, and I highly recommend seeing it on the big screen where it can be properly appreciated in all it's hand-made glory.


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