Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mad Max

Glenn from Stale Popcorn here, taking a moment out of the roasting he is getting in his apartment - it's 44 degrees here, or 110 in crazy fahrenheit measurements - to bring you this post.

Anybody who reads my blog (hi... five of you!) will know I like to follow Australian film. I am from Australia and I am deeply connected to my country's industry. Thankfully taking a break from movies about drug dealers, drug users, wife abusers, crooked cops and philandering husbands (five of Australian film's favourite topics) is Mary and Max, a claymation film from Adam Elliot, the director of Oscar-winning Harvey Krumpet. It debuted as the opening night film at Sundance recently. Wallace & Gromit this is not. From the film's IMDb plot outline:

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.

And that's just the beginning! It features the vocals of Phillip Seymour Hoffman (as Max), Toni Collette (as adult Mary), Barry Humphries, Eric Bana plus several others that only Australians will recognise (Renee Geyer and Ian 'Molly' Meldrum, anyone?) I, for one, can't wait to see what Elliot does and the trailer (below) looks wickedly dark and funny. Hopefully a distributer picks it up for international release. I wonder if the animation branch would respond to it like they did Harvey Krumpet or if they would pass by it for, oh I dunno, Lame Dreamworks Cartoon 7.

It is released in Australia in April.


Bernardo said...

I just realized something scary/shocking. Animated feature may be one of the hardest categories to predict next year.

Coming out in 2009:

- Ponyo on a Cliff
- 9
- Up
- Mary and Max
- Coraline
- The Fantastic Mr. Fox
- The Princess and the Frog

Plus some sequels including Ice Age 3...

This is a huge list of contenders for this category! Are we looking at 5 nominees?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget:

- A Christmas Carol (Zemeckis' third mocap venture.)
- Terra (Looks lame, but won a festival and I've seen a warm review or two.)
- Sita Sings the Blues (If it gets over its copyright problems and is actually released, it's definitely a contender for an "indie" spot.)
- Frankenweenie (Although this one's bound to be postponed. Last I checked it was still in pre-production.)
- a couple of me-too CGIs some of which may surprise

Anyway, Mary and Max's trailer didn't win me over. Voice acting should be awardsworthy in this (I actually failed to recognize Hoffman until his name appeared) and the style's endearing in an almost-ugly way, but the humour seems too lowbrow for my tastes. (Haha, dogs humping! And an anus joke! :| And people complain about fart jokes in Shrek?)

I did laugh at the "I take things literally" gag, so here's hoping the trailer isn't representative of the film. I didn't like Harvie Krumpet (you can see it here if you wish), though, so I'm not holding my breath.

Unknown said...

yeh, animated race is great. I wonder what this year's "unexpected foreign entry" is or will Ponyo make up for that.

Also, just a mention $9.99, which got a limited american release for Bes Animated FIlm consideration also looksintruiging and doesn't fit in those 5 key movie themes. But it's only a matter of time before another Little Fish/Candy/Em 4Jay

Anonymous said...

I'm trapped at work with a no video access allowed on the computer so I'll have to wait until I'm home to watch the clip.

However, I LOVE claymation and think its potential for animation for adults is limitless. I will definitely keep my fingers crossed this will get distribution in America!


Anonymous said...

Weak trailer and unsavory themes aside, I still plan to catch "Mary and Max", if only to check out the voice work of Barry Humphries. The missus and I catch "Dame Edna" every time the show swings through San Francisco.