“Marcel the Shell with Shoes on” is Ninety Minutes of Pure Bliss

Marcel the Shell with Shoes on is a humorous stop motion Mockumentary, released in July of 2022 that focuses on the life of a talking one inch shell named Marcel and his grandma. It has a 98% rotten tomatoes rating and is a stop motion Oscar nominee. This movie is great as it gives the world a shell to connect to because Marcel teaches about what it means to feel alone, how to live with suffering, and that no matter who you are, you matter and are a part of a whole. 

Marcel and his Nana Connie spend their days in their Airbnb home when a man named Dean comes to stay with them. Dean starts making a documentary about life as a shell and he comes to learn how lonely being a shell is. Marcel and Nana Connie became separated from their family with no hope of finding them before Dean came to stay. Everything changed for the talking shell once he became internet famous. Marcel discovered how many people cared for him. In the end he says, “I’m not just one separate piece rattling around in this place, but that I’m part of a whole. And I truly enjoy the sound of myself connected with everything.”

One of my favorite aspects of the movie is the silly little way Marcel speaks, the things he says and does, and his attitude and personality is truly heartwarming. I get pretty aggravated when people say that Marcel the Shell with Shoes on is a kids movie. First of all, I don’t believe it is suitable for a younger audience because children simply wouldn’t be able to hold their attention and they wouldn’t be able to grasp the importance of Marcel and his messages. Secondly, I believe that what Marcel has to say and his attitude towards suffering is incredible and that it could help a lot of people if they gave him the time. 

Marcel the Shell with Shoes on was directed, produced, and written by Dean Fleischer Camp and Jenny Slate with Chido Bros. Jenny Slate came up for the voice of Marcel in 2012 when she was dating the filmmaker Dean Fleischer Camp. They later got married and divorced before the 2022 movie released. They crafted Marcel from things around the house: a shell, a googly eye, and legs from a Polly Pocket doll. Marcel became a viral star of YouTube in the early 2010s reaching more than 32 million views. Two books about Marcel were released in 2011 and 2014. 

It took 7 years to craft this astounding movie. It took a year to come up with the audio, then the live action and stop motion following it. The crew had to memorize Marcel’s short strides and movements. They essentially shot every scene twice because they needed to use a puppet while filming the setting and lighting correctly with the stop motion director on set to watch it all. Eric Adkins (animating producer) had to take precise notes of everything going on, like the lighting, the measurements of Marcel from everything around him, and so much more. The Los Angeles Times says that “Lenore (animating director) had a stop-motion staff of around 50 artists working on 10 stages running simultaneously.” The way that Marcel the Shell with Shoes on was so meticulously crafted shows how much the creators wanted Marcel to be real and just how much Marcel meant to them. 

I stumbled across Marcel the Shell after seeing a clip of him during the Oscars. I am so grateful that this movie exists and its producers put so much time and effort into this movie because it is really heartwarming. Marcel has left such a mark on his watchers and he is truly such an inspiration to the world and has become my new favorite Friday night movie because of the humor, story, and of course, the famous shell.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes on is streaming on Paramount, Showtime, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV. It will be on Disney+ in early July.

Comments are closed.