Welcome to The Best Movies I’ve Never Seen! This is the part of the blog where I work my way through 100 films I’ve never seen that are generally considered to be great. You’re invited to watch along with me if you can find a copy or find it streaming. So grab some popcorn and let’s get started!
Mary and Max
Directed by Adam Elliot
Quick synopsis… Mary Dinkle, a chubby 8-year-old Australian girl, and Max Horovitz, an obese, middle-aged New Yorker with Asperger’s syndrome, are a pair of unlikely pen pals in this quirky clay animation feature from writer-director Adam Elliot.
It’s 1976 and little Mary Dinkle laments the fact that she has no friends. One day, while out with her mother, she curiously wonders where babies in America come from. So she copies down the address of a New York native named Max Horovitz, then writes him a letter asking about the origin of babies in America.
She writes about other things, of course, but the baby question is the start of things. Max decides to write her back and may overshare with the little girl, but his words clearly come from a place of genuine desire to make a friend.
This unlikely friendship carries on for many long years as we watch Mary grow up and see how both of their lives progress through their letters to one another.
The film is inspired by true events, insofar as the character of Max was inspired by the director’s New York pen-pal with whom he had corresponded for over 20 years. And the story is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It’s hard not to feel for both Mary and Max as they each experience life’s difficulties, but it’s also touching the way the two of them remain connected throughout the years.
The stop-motion animation is very well done and is a great way to tell this unique story. If you decide to find this movie and watch it (and I recommend you do), keep an eye out for all the little things that are added in to give it all a little extra humor.
Having now seen Mary and Max, it currently ranks at 524 out of 2,268 movies on my personal Flickchart list.
Have you ever seen Mary and Max? If so, what did you think of it? Are you a fan of stop-motion animated films? Let me know what you think down in the comments!