25 July 2024
Jenny Slate voices Marcel The Shell With Shoes on out to own 26th June 2023 on Blu-ray

Film Review – Marcel The Shell with Shoes on (2022)

Marcel (Jenny Slate) lives with his grandmother, Connie (Isabella Rossellini) and he has a fairly simple life. He’s experienced bad things from the previous owners though, however when Dean (Dean Fleischer Camp) moves in he finds Marcel fascinating.

Starting to record Marcel doing things for short videos, he publishes them on YouTube and over time the views gradually ramp up. Before he knows it, Marcel is an internet phenomenon and he’s even being lined up to be interviewed on television. Not bad for a shell with shoes on.

Marcel The Shell with Shoes on is the feature length film which is developed from the short YouTube videos which gathered a massive fanbase. Originally created by Dean Fleischer Camp and Jenny Slate, they return to give Marcel his silver screen debut.

Made over the course of seven years, using improvisations from Jenny Slate, Isabella Rossellini and others, Marcel the Shell with Shoes on not only gives A24 its first animated feature, but also shows the world the sweet and kind soul of an animated shell.

Using a mixture of live action and stop motion animation, Fleischer Camp and Slate have created a warm hug for the audience to melt into and thankfully this translates well into a long form feature. As the saying goes, it’s best to write about what you know, so it feels fitting that Marcel tells his own story of his rise to fame. However, despite the popularity that he gains, it seems that Marcel is untouched by the glory of the spotlight and part of his charm is that he stays grounded.

The relationship between Marcel, his grandmother and Dean is arguably what drives the film though. Their interactions give weight to a world of imagination and Marcel’s funny and insightful views of the world will warm any heart. Even the audiences unfamiliar with Marcel’s internet roots may find themselves falling in love.

Whilst set in the real world with real people in some of the scenes, it could be argued that the real world is more beautiful than animation could allow. The entire film gives the audience that sense of ease and calm and Marcel’s design and Jenny Slate’s adorable performance takes them away to another world. Nominated for the best animated feature at the Academy Awards, Marcel the Shell with Shoes on reminds its audience that animation is not just for children. Doing so while maintaining an innocent and childlike view of the world.

Animation, Comedy | USA, 2022 | PG | Blu-ray, DVD | Mediumrare Entertainment | 16th June 2023 (UK) | Dir. Dean Fleischer-Camp | Jenny Slate, Isabella Rossellini, Dean Fleischer-Camp

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