Marcel The Shell With Shoes On – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Dean Fleischer Camp
Starring: Jenny Slate, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, Dean Fleischer Camp, Lesley Stahl, Isabella Rossellini
In cinemas on February 17th
After a very successful run on the festival circuit, this acclaimed stop-motion animation finally gets a cinema release so that everyone can see what all the fuss is about. It has already won several awards and is nominated for best animation at the upcoming Oscars. I first saw this on one of its festival outings about a year ago and am amazed it has taken it so long to get a wider release as it really is the kind of sweet film that lingers with you.
The premise is very simple. A divorced documentary filmmaker moves into an Airbnb where he discovers Marcel, a one-inch-tall talking shell (who does indeed wear shoes), living in the home with his grandmother and his pet ball of lint.
He begins filming the whimsical Marcel and puts the videos online where they become a cultural phenomenon. The unworldly Marcel is somewhat overwhelmed by all the attention and laments that his family aren’t there to share in his newfound fame. This leads to Marcel doing a live stream to locate his long-lost family and the house suddenly becomes a mecca for influencers.
Disheartened that his relatives haven’t reached out, Marcel is reluctant to do any more videos but his grandmother encourages him to do a 60 Minutes Interview which might finally be the thing that reunites him with his loved ones.
As simple as the premise is, it is a relatable one in this age of viral sensations and 15 minutes of fame. It is aided by a lovely script and beautiful animation that really draws you in. You quickly suspend belief and accept that there is a talking shell on the screen.
The simplicity is actually part of the charm of this. It doesn’t need huge gimmicks to engage the viewer as Marcel is completely charming and the film has a huge amount of heart. It also manages to be deeply profound and thought-provoking.
This will get you right in the feels and is a wonderful watch but your eyes may leak a bit while watching. You have been warned.
Categories: Best Kids' Movies, Header, Movie Review, Movies
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