According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, MARY AND MAX, a claymation film, is set to open the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The film, from Australian animator Adam Elliot, will play January 15 at Park City, Utah’s Eccles Center Theatre.

Mary and Max is a tale of a pen-pal friendship between two very different people: Mary Dinkle is a chubby, lonely 8 year old girl living in the suburbs of Melbourne, and Max Horovitz is a 44 year old, severely obese Jewish man with Asperger’s Syndrome living in the chaos of New York.

The film will be narrated by Australian actor Barry Humphries, who previously voiced Bruce the Shark in Pixar’s Finding Nemo.

Elliot’s HARVIE KRUMPET played at Sundance in 2004 and won the Oscar that year for Best Animated Short. MARY AND MAX is based on Elliot’s real-life pen-pal relationship over the last 20 years.

Mary and Max is set for a theatrical release in April 2009.