YMMV / Mary and Max

  • Acceptable Targets: After Max's air-conditioning unit falls out of his appartment and crushes a mime artist.
    Narrator: "Luckily, [Max's] manslaughter charges were dismissed, because he was labeled mentally deficient, and unlikely to have a motive for killing a mime artist. Unlike most people."
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: A minor one, as people debate whether Max was more upset about Mary using him as a "case study" without his consent, or whether it was her expressed desire to cure his Asperger's.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: It's clay animation, so it must be for kids, right? Wrong. Very, very wrong.
  • Award Snub: This movie received no nominations at the 82nd Academy Awards (see Screwed by the Network). It has however won at least one smaller animation award.
    • Things aren't so bad for Adam Elliot, though — his previous film, "Harvie Krumpet", won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Max gives Mary a rather silly bit of advice on how to stop another kid from bullying her. It works.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Several.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The heartwarming Perpetuum Mobile, by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
  • Freud Was Right: As young Mary watches The Noblets (see Getting Crap Past the Radar and Stealth Pun), she enjoys a can of condensed milk.
  • Fridge Logic: Technically, Max did have a friend before Mary in the form of Ivy, his neighbor.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The "Que Sera Sera" sequence, especially when it shows that Mary is with child.
    • And when Mary finally visits Max, and cuddles up next to his corpse.
    • Vera accidentally drinking formaldehyde after mistaking it for sherry. Made worse by the slow, chanting Leitmotif and the fact that similar incident have happened in Real Life.
  • Screwed by the Network: In the US, IFC chose to release it straight to DVD instead of giving it a theatrical release like other countries. As a result, the film was ineligible for Oscar nominations (a Best Animated Feature nomination was expected had it gone to theaters).
  • Tear Jerker: Again, the "Que Sera Sera" sequence, and all that built up to it. Mary's sheer misery and self-loathing is utterly tragic.
    • Mary's second letter to Max as a child, in which she details a bully grabbing her sandwich and pissing on it, then making fun of her birthmark. This culminates in her crying as she writes the letter, even telling Max her tears are smudging the paper, then asking him as her voice is breaking if he's ever been bullied.
    • The fact that Max probably would have lived long enough to see Mary if he hadn't had such an abysmal diet (bread and chocolate bars) for years to the point of morbid obesity.
    • And Max's letter, especially the Meaningful Echo at the end.
    Max: You are my best friend. You are my only friend.
  • Ugly Cute: Mary. Well, maybe not ugly but given the style of animation, as well as her whole character, it sort of fits.
    • Mary's baby.
  • What an Idiot: When Max writes to Mary and tells her of his AS diagnosis, he makes it clear that he doesn't like the idea of being cured, as he does not see anything wrong with having AS (a sentiment held by many real life people with AS). Yet, when she writes him after graduating college, she apparently expects that he will be pleased by the news that she is researching a cure and hopes to celebrate this fact with him.
  • The Woobie: Both Mary and Max, very much so.
  • Write Who You Know: As in all of Adam Elliot's films, the characters are mostly based on real people. Max, for example, is based on Elliot's pen pal.