Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Watch Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

"Everybody loves Marcel."
  • PG
  • 2022
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 7.7  (25,996)
  • 80

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an endearing live-action/stop-motion hybrid film directed by Dean Fleischer Camp, based on the beloved character of the same name that first captured hearts through a series of YouTube shorts. The movie, released in 2021, expands upon the charming world of Marcel, a tiny one-eyed shell sporting a pair of miniature shoes. Through the ingenious voice acting of Jenny Slate, who co-created the character along with Fleischer Camp and brings Marcel to life, the film exudes a sense of warmth, innocence, and humor.

The premise of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On revolves around the titular character, Marcel, who lives with his grandmother Connie, voiced by the legendary Isabella Rossellini. The pair reside in a beautifully shabby-chic Airbnb, navigating the vast landscape of an ordinary human-sized house. Marcel's diminutive size transforms everyday objects into spectacular adventures or formidable challenges, all the while providing a uniquely small-scale perspective on the world.

The movie begins with documentary filmmaker, Dean (played by Dean Fleischer Camp himself), moving into an Airbnb after a personal setback. Discovering Marcel and Connie leads him to craft a documentary about their lives, a project that reveals far more about the sweet, peculiar shell and his history than initially anticipated. Dean's affectionate lens captures Marcel's everyday routines, showcasing his resourcefulness in using items like honey as a makeshift cleaning agent or a piece of lint tied to a hair for a makeshift pulley system.

As Marcel gains viral fame from the documentary within the film, the plot gracefully mixes light-hearted moments and amusing observations from Marcel with more profound reflections on community, loneliness, and the search for belonging. Despite its fantastical elements, the movie presents relatable themes, such as the universal desire for connection and the ways in which social media can impact our lives.

One of the film's most significant aspects is its heartfelt characterization. Marcel, despite being an anthropomorphic shell, is incredibly human. His endearing quirkiness and curious nature are complemented by moments of poignant vulnerability, giving the audience a multi-dimensional protagonist to root for. Jenny Slate's voice performance encapsulates Marcel's distinctive mixture of childlike wonder and old-soul wisdom, providing a rich emotional core to the film.

The relationship between Marcel and Connie is also central to its narrative. Their bond is laced with tenderness and humor, serving as a cornerstone of Marcel's life. Isabella Rossellini's nuanced vocals impart Connie with a gracious sense of history and maternal care, despite her minuscule size and the simplicity of the animation.

The film's visual aesthetic is an integral part of its storytelling, achieving an impressive level of detail and creativity in animating Marcel's miniature world. The blending of live-action elements with stop-motion animation creates a seamless universe that's both magical and realistic. As a shell who interacts with the real world, Marcel's interactions with his environment are not only visually engaging but also invoke an imaginative curiosity about the spaces we inhabit and often take for granted.

From the camera work to the set design, there's a tangible DIY charm that elevates the film, echoing the "home movie" aspect of the original YouTube shorts that introduced Marcel to the world. Each scene feels artfully composed, a testament to the meticulous work that goes into stop-motion animation. The film's soundtrack further complements its emotive narrative, cultivating a nostalgic and sometimes whimsically melancholic atmosphere.

As Marcel embarks on a quest that unfolds over the course of the film, the screenplay written by Slate, Fleischer Camp, and Nick Paley, balances wit with a gentle, introspective look at family, loss, and the bravado it takes to keep moving forward, however small one's steps may be. A story about perseverance, it shows that size doesn't dictate the strength of one's spirit.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On manages to be a rare cinematic experience that is suitable for all ages without pandering to any. It's a film that entertains while exploring meaningful themes in an inventive format. The viewer is invited to lean in, both literally and metaphorically, to enter Marcel's miniature world, ultimately finding that it isn't so different from our own.

In conclusion, the film is a delightful and thought-provoking journey that resonates with a myriad of audiences, from young children to adults alike. With the combination of its quirky protagonist, imaginative visuals, and touching narrative, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a sweet, small-scale odyssey with a big heart, offering a feel-good viewing experience that carries significant depth and emotional resonance.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a 2022 animated movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.7 and a MetaScore of 80.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Where to Watch Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, Showtime, The Roku Channel, Showtime Anytime, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Marcel the Shell with Shoes On for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (25,996)
  • Metascore