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Mary and Max (2009)

Not Rated  |   |  Animation, Comedy, Drama  |  9 April 2009 (Australia)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 105,820 users  
Reviews: 159 user | 166 critic

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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Complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Damien (voice)
Young Mary (voice)
Renée Geyer ...
Vera (voice)
Ian 'Molly' Meldrum ...
Homeless Man (voice)
Julie Forsyth ...
Additional Voices (voice)
John Flaus ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Additional Voices (voice)
Shaun Patten ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Carolyn Shakespeare-Allen ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Additional Voices (voice)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two unlikely people. Two different worlds come together in a story about a most unusual friendship. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 April 2009 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Mary & Max  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


AUD 8,240,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is the very first animated film to open for the Sundance Film Festival. See more »


When Max is in the hospital, the sign over his bed says "Nil By Mouth," a medical instruction which, while routine in Commonwealth nations, is unknown in the US. See more »


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

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 »


References Muriel's Wedding (1994) See more »


Dance of the Knights (Montagues and Capulets)
from "Romeo & Juliet" by Sergei Prokofiev is used by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd. exclusive agent for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publisher Ltd of London
Performed by Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Christopher Nicholls
Licensed courtesy of Australian Broadcasting Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

Unforgettable and Heartbreaking Bleak Tale of Friendship and Loneliness
3 September 2010 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1976, in Australia, the misfit and outcast eight-year old girl Mary Daisy Dinkle lives in Mount Waverley with her alcoholic shoplifter mother Vera Lorraine Dinkle that is addicted in Sherry and her absent father Noel Norman Dinkle that works in the Earl Grey Factory attaching strings in the teabag and spends his leisure time in his hobby - taxidermy. Mary has absolutely no friends and is teased by her schoolmate Benny Clifford. She has a complex because of her brown birthmark in the forehead and she adores her favorite cartoon The Noblets that she watches with her rooster Ethel and condensed milk. Meanwhile, in New York, the lonely forty-four year-old Max Jerry Horowitz has Asperge Syndrome and trouble to sleep and is obese since he eats chocolate hot-dogs to compensate his anxiety. He frequently goes to the Overeaters Anonymous Meeting. Max does not have any friend, only the invisible Mr. Ravioli, and also loves The Noblets. His life goals are to have a friend, Noblets and chocolate. One day, Mary picks Max address out of an American phone-book and she decides to write to him to ask from where babies come in America. Along their lives, they become pen pals and their unusual friendship oscillates due to the anxiety attacks of the unstable Max.

"Mary and Max" is an unforgettable and heartbreaking bleak tale of friendship and loneliness. The story is bittersweet and witty, with an ironic black humor and provokes the most conflictive emotions in the viewers, funny in a moment, and depressive in the other. The excellent animation follows the dark style of Tim Burton and the screenplay is a profound insight in human behavior. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Mary and Max – Uma Amizade Diferente" ("Mary and Max – A Different Friendship")

46 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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