Autism Through Cinema

Mary and Max (2009) dir. Adam Elliot, & Pixar shorts Float (2019) & Loop (2020)

October 1, 2021

In this very animated episode, the team turn their attention to a pair of SparkShorts from Pixar that deal directly with autistic experience; Float (2019) by Bobby Rubio, and Loop (2020) by Erica Milsom. Followng this, they pull apart the imagery, metaphors and characters of Adam Elliot's stop-motion feature length film Mary and Max (2009). They consider what animated film can do for the depiction of autism that is not as easily acheived in live-action, while also debating the ethics of working in collaboration with real autistic individuals. Loop, for example, features the vocal contributions of minimally verbal actor Madison Bandy, while Mary and Max was directly inspired by Elliot's real-life autistic penpal. We also consider the depiction of trauma, the relationship between autism and age, and the use of caricature and the grotesque.

In this episode you hear Janet Harbord, Alex Widdowson, John-James Laidlow, Georgia Bradburn and David Hartley.

For more on the Autism Through Cinema project, check out our website: Follow us on Twitter at @AutismCinema, and send us messages on cinemautism[at]

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