|Fig 1 - Mary and Max Poster|
Back in 2015 I wrote a review of Mary and Max on this very blog, in which I stated that the success of the film "demonstrated a demand for the adult approach to animated cinema". I still absolutely believe this to be the case, however I struggle to remember many examples of mature, mainstream animated features from the nine years following it's release. In fact aside from Studio Ghibli, whose films are generally accessible to a great range of audiences, I can only think of Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa (2015), a film which uses stop-motion to a semi-realistic degree and similarly toys with themes of depression and anxiety. Of course, one could argue that Sausage Party (2016) fits the criteria here too, but let's not pretend there's a whole lot of 'meat' to that particular candidate...
|Fig 2 - Mary and Max - Max and Mary|
It's a film that is art directed to within an inch of it's life, in the best possible way. The attention to detail within the model universe makes the world feel tangible and real, taking us through the countless settings and scenarios described by the leads, which burst with adorable miniatures. Like all the best animations, I found myself eager to just pause the film and appreciate the work that went into establishing this reality. If it's cartoonish style doesn't grab your attention from the off, I don't know what will.
Fig. 1 Mary and Max Poster (2009) From: Mary and Max - Directed by: Adam Elliot
Fig. 2 Mary and Max Screenshot (2009) From: Mary and Max - Directed by: Adam Elliot