IFC Films and MPI bring MARY AND MAX to DVD and Blu-ray

A chance “meeting” changes two lives forever in the extraordinary claymation feature MARY AND MAX, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette and Eric Bana. The full-length debut by the Oscar-winning director of Harvie Krumpet, it comes to DVD and Blu-ray on June 15, 2010, from MPI Media Group, with SRPs, respectively, of $24.98 and $29.98.

Writer-director Adam Elliot brings the unique stop-motion style he forged in the short Harvie Krumpet to a feature about the unlikeliest of friendships. In 1970s suburban Melbourne, lonely 8-year-old Mary Daisy Dinkle (voiced by Bethany Whitmore, and later by Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Toni Collette of The United States of Tara), the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distant father, picks a name at random out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him. The recipient is Max Jerry Horovitz (Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote), an obese 44-year-old single man who, despite suffering from the behavioral disorder Asperger’s syndrome, responds in kind.

Thus begins a strange yet mutually supportive – and at times strained – pen-pal relationship that spans 20 years and two continents and touches on issues and concerns ranging from autism and alcoholism to taxidermy, kleptomania, religion, agoraphobia and where babies come from.

Adam Elliot sets his whimsically fashioned stop-motion characters against visually arresting backgrounds: sepia tones for Mary’s suburban life in Australia to grays, blacks and whites for Max’s solitary life in big bad New York. By expressing their hopes and fears to each other over the years, Mary and Max both begin to move bravely toward full-color lives.

MARY AND MAX, produced by Harvie Krumpet producer Melanie Coombs, also features the voices of Eric Bana (Troy, The Time Traveler’s Wife) and narrator Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna).

The film has received nearly universal critical acclaim (its “freshness” rating on Rotten Tomatoes is 90%). Writing in The Oregonian, March Mohan praised the film, noting: “When two-dimensional drawings, computer pixels or lifeless lumps of clay can inspire real feeling, something almost magical is involved. Rarely has this been truer than in the Australian claymation film MARY AND MAX

Screen International’s Mike Goodridge praised it as “a melancholy true story of unlikely friendship which is another bold example of adult storytelling through animation.”

An Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival, MARY AND MARY has won numerous prestigious prizes, including the Feature Film Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the Grand Prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and the Best Animated Feature Film award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.


Special features on the DVD and Blu-ray include the Academy Award-winning short that started it all, Harvie Krumpet.


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