Voice acting/characters: very emotionally deep and complex, well-rounded characters. I highly enjoyed watching them. The voice acting was pretty good from Philip Seymour-Hoffman, Toni Colette, and Eric Bana even though the last one has barely any voice time at all. But aside from the narrator (Barry Humphries or, Bruce from Finding Nemo if you will) commands most of the voice work. The characters were mostly seen through the narrator and their letters than by anything they said because outside of all of that they hardly said anything at all...next to nothing actually. But they were fascinating and I enjoyed them very much. 9.5/10
Plot: I know a lot of you have reviewed it, but I tend not to look at plot details in reviews so as not to spoil anything for when I get to see the film myself. But from the reviews I had kind of an idea of what the film was about/like. Boy was I way off. This film was not what I expected at all. But that is good. It kept me surprised and I never really knew what kind of turn the film would take next. it could be funny, it could be very touching, it could be thought provoking, and this one surprised me, it could be very dark. I was surprised when it took some dark turns. It didn't prevent my enjoyment of the film but it did surprise me. it was a highly engrossing and very solid plot. It was admittedly repetitive though: Mary and max exchanging letters, and the narrator explaining what was going on in each of their lives at certain points. I must say that for such a repetitive plot, they pulled it off very well. Is it just me or do animated films generally try harder than most other ones these days? Not all of course on either end. But I digress...9.5/10
Screenplay: A big part of this film was the background music. That and the narrator said the most in this film. The only time anyone outside the narrator spoke was when Mary and Max were writing their letters to each other. it was kept very simple to go with the more simple overall tone of the film and I liked that very much. It was just to humans on opposite sides of the planet exchanging their letters and living their lives and it was extremely well done. I got the feeling that they were people despite being made out of clay in this instance. What they were writing to each other made them more relatable than most other characters I have seen on film in a long time. All it took was some simple, human dialogue to do that and it was pulled off very well. 9.5/10
Likableness: Isn't it amazing what they can do with clay these days? I imagine that it takes a lot of work to make a world this visually amazing but it totally paid off. I almost believed that I was in the world itself and that it was real. Admittedly some of the stuff looked really real but some of the props and sets looked lust like clay. I don't know if it was intentional or not but there were certain things in the film that you could tell much easier if they were made out of clay or not. That aside, this is an excellent film (that deserved a Best Animated Feature nod I must say) that I highly enjoyed watching. I would highly suggest this to anyone who has yet to see this masterpiece. It was amazing and I enjoyed it very much. 9.5/10
Final Score: 38/40 95% (N)
Tomatometer rating: 94%
Tomatometer rating if my review was added: 94%
TRIVIA TIME: 1. One Tomb Stone over from Ruby's reads "R.I.P. Adam Elliot", the writer/director of the film.
2. The street, Lamington Drive, is a play on words: Lamingtons are an Australian cake. They are sometimes used in fund-raising activities by schools and other organizations, whereby they are sold in bulk. Such activities are referred to as 'Lamington Drives'.
3. Principal photography lasted over 57 weeks, using 133 separate sets, 212 puppets, and 475 miniature props, including a fully functional Underwood typewriter. This took 9 weeks to design and build.
4. The postage stamps in the film used by Mary feature an image of Dame Edna Everage, a character played by comedian Barry Humphries, who also narrates the film.