Netflix Junkie: Claymation for grown-ups

Netflix-obsessed SPM columnist, Seni Brewster, discovers an emotion roller coaster through claymation with "Mary and Max".

Claymation is a classic form of animation that most attribute to Tim Burton. They are dark, yet happy at the same time; how do they do that? Inquiring minds want to know. When I stumbled upon the recently added "Mary and Max," I could tell that it still had those same dark tones of other claymation pictures, but it wasn't as PG as Tim Burton's films. "Mary and Max" definitely isn't a movie for kids because the themes are a bit complex.

About ten minutes into the film I was in tears. The movie was not particularly sad, but all of the characters' struggles were very real. We travel through this little girl’s life as she becomes friends and pen pals with an autistic man in New York City. These are two characters that seem to be a great distance apart, but somehow greatly align their life experiences.

The best part of this movie, I think, is the fact that these very real struggles and experiences can be expressed so superbly through claymation. At the beginning it threw me off. It was weird to see something that I generally associate with tall, skinny characters and Johnny Depp’s voice bring up really deep concepts. Maybe that’s why I am got so emotional so quickly.

The entire movie was an emotional roller coaster ride, filled with ups and downs. Much like life, there is never any guarantee that movies will end on a happy note. Now that I’m really big on movie endings, I was afraid that this movie would end badly. Fortunately, I could not have been more wrong. "Mary and Max" ended perfectly. If there is any time to watch a movie with meaning, "Mary and Max" is the one to watch. 

So the next time you find yourself wondering what to do for the next 1 hour and 10 minutes, turn on Netflix, settle down on that comfy couch and enjoy a good grown-up kids movie.

Are you a fellow Netflix junkie? Join the conversation and reach the writer at ybrewste@asu.edu.

Jesi is an English Lit and Transborder studies double major. She enjoys reading, writing, and the occasional social experience. She is most comfortable in areas where there is food, otherwise known as the quickest way to her heart.


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