Two years ago Sundance opened with a Brett Morgen’s animated doc “Chicago 10,” and it’s just been announced that the upcoming iteration of the festival (only 57 days to go!) will kick off with more animation — “Mary and Max,” a claymation drama, is the feature debut of Australian director Adam Elliot, who’s otherwise known for a spectacular set of claymation shorts that includes “Harvey Crumpet,” which won the 2003 Best Animated Short Oscar. My favorite is “Brother,” from his “Family Trilogy” — while it lasts, you can find it here on YouTube.
“Mary and Max” is voiced by Toni Collette and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Sundance’s description:
Written and directed by Elliot, Mary and Max tells the tale of an improbable friendship between two very different people: Mary Daisy Dinkle (Collette) a lonely Australian eight-year-old, and Max Jerry Horovitz (Hoffman), a middle-aged New Yorker. Spanning 20 years and two continents, Mary and Max is a journey that explores friendship, autism, taxidermy, psychiatry, alcoholism, obesity, kleptomania, sexual difference, religious difference, agoraphobia and more. The film is narrated by Australian legend Barry Humphries and features cameos from Eric Bana, singer Renee Geyer and Australian music icon Ian “Molly” Meldrum along with Julie Forsyth and John Flaus.
The rest of the program will be announced on December 3rd and 4th.
[Photo: “Mary and Max,” Icon Entertainment International, 2008]