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Movie Review: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On * Handles Life’s Mysteries, Dangers, Grief And Friendships With Wisdom, Grace And Humor

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Movie Review: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On * Handles Life’s Mysteries, Dangers, Grief And Friendships With Wisdom, Grace And Humor

Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. A beloved character gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an innovative and extremely moving new film. The importance of inspiring kids to make their voices heard has increased recently and nothing could do a better job of capturing this vital theme than Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”  Madeleine H. adds, “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is a sweet, moving and loving journey into the life of an instantly lovable seashell named Marcel (Jenny Slate). I love how this stop-motion animated film, presented as a documentary, handles life’s mysteries, dangers, grief and friendships with wisdom, grace and humor.” Mikella G. wraps it up with, “The way that Jenny Slate conveys human emotions through voicing a small shell is really outstanding. Although he is tiny, Marcel has so many different layers, and I definitely got chills throughout the film.” See their full reviews below.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

By Kyla C., Age 12, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an innovative and extremely moving new film. The importance of inspiring kids to make their voices heard has increased recently and nothing could do a better job of capturing this vital theme than Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has a simple yet passionate plot following Marcel (Jenny Slate), a shell. Years ago, he and his grandmother, Connie (Isabella Rossellini), were the lone survivors of an unknown disaster. Now, after being discovered as one-inch shells by Dean (Dean Fleischer-Camp), his interviews are being viewed by millions of people around the world. Dean makes a documentary about Marcel: how he’s made a life for himself using tennis balls to get around and by living in dollhouses. With this many people behind them, Marcel and Dean set out to find his family.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is everything a great movie should be: emotional, entertaining, funny and suspenseful at times. The primary focus of the film is clearly its emotional impact. Marcel is the perfect character to capture the positive point of view on everything. He makes light of bad times and comedy out of devastation. It’s no wonder he’s a YouTube star! Jenny Slate is a good match for the role in portraying the well-balanced character. The comedic elements go hand in hand with the fantastic acting and entertaining storyline to create the meaningful characters and conflicts. Marcel contributes a lot to the overall entertainment of the movie. The sets, cinematography and lighting do a lot to push the film to its best. Everything matches the mood and tone, creating the perfect atmosphere for the characters. One example of this is when Marcel is hopeful, the set is lit naturally and bright.

The message of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is to cherish family and friends, because in the blink of an eye they could be gone. The film also supports the idea that we should speak up for ourselves and support one another. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On includes many important themes that are passionately expressed throughout. This film does have scenes with fairly intense moments of sadness, but it is definitely a kid- and family-friendly film.

I give Marcel the Shell with Shoes On 4 out of 5 stars, and I recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults. You can view this film in select theaters beginning June 24, 2022 and nationwide July 15, 2022.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

By Madeleine H. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is a sweet, moving and loving journey into the life of an instantly lovable seashell named Marcel (Jenny Slate). I love how this stop-motion animated film, presented as a documentary, handles life’s mysteries, dangers, grief and friendships with wisdom, grace and humor.

Marcel and his sassy grandmother Connie (Isabella Rossellini) share a big home used as an AirBnB that was once full of friends who have mysteriously disappeared. When a new guest, Dean (Dean Fleischer-Camp) arrives, he sets out to document Marcel and help discover what happened to the missing friends.  Dean films the inventive and clever ways that Marcel and Connie go about their lives as shells, from gathering food, traveling about and taking care of each other.  Marcel persuades Dean to share the mysterious loss of his community, which leads to an interview on 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl.  All the attention and celebrity fuss prove to be too much for the aging grandmother as she does her best to convince Marcel she is healthy.  I love how Marcel takes care of Connie. 

Marcel is sweet and caring with a practical approach to solving problems.  He is inventive and optimistic.  And he has a fuzzy pet lint named Alan!  His grandmother, Connie, is at once amused and annoyed by Marcel’s overprotectiveness. They share a unique bond.  The stop-motion animation brings to life these characters in a wonderful, believable way.  They become your friends you care about quickly.  My favorite part is how Marcel travels around the big house with speed and efficiency— in a tennis ball!

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On addresses a variety of life’s challenges with gentle wisdom, quiet grace, and sly humor.  Marcel and Connie learn to adjust to the mysterious disappearance of their community, a house full of friends.  They persevere and seek help from Dean to help solve the mystery while dealing with the new found ”celebrity” attention and the disruption to their peaceful existence.  Marcel is stoic and brave in the face of loss and grateful and welcoming at the sound of emergency.  We would all benefit from walking in Marcel’s shoes!

I give Marcel The Shell With Shoes On 5 out of 5 star and recommend it for ages 6 to 18, plus adults.  It opens in select theaters June 24, 2022 and nationwide July 15, 2022.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

By Mikella G., KIDS FIRST!, Film Critic, age 16

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is a unique, yet emotional film. It creates a whole new perspective on life, while having a very intriguing, yet entertaining feel to it.

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On follows a tiny one-inch shell, Marcel (Jenny Slate), who lives in an Airbnb with his Nana (Isabella Rossellini). When a new renter Dean (Dean Fleischer Camp) moves in, he starts a documentary series on YouTube about Marcel’s life. Soon enough, Marcel finds himself gaining millions of views, and he tries to hopefully use this new gained fame to find his lost family.

Something that I really enjoyed about this film is its simplicity. To explain, the structure of the movie purely focuses on Marcel and his way of life. There are no crazy action scenes or extensive sets, yet it is still entertaining and lovely to watch. Another thing that stands out is the picture quality. Everything is very clear and, although Marcel is animated, he feels very life-like in a world filled with live humans. Marcel reminds me of a real-life moving toy, rather than an animated character. That’s how realistic he is. Finally, the way that Jenny Slate conveys human emotions through voicing a small shell is really outstanding. Although he is tiny, Marcel has so many different layers, and I definitely got chills throughout the film.

The message of Marcel The Shell With Shoes On is to always stay true to yourself, and to care for those who care for you.

I give Marcel The Shell With Shoes On 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to ages 8 to 18, plus adults. It release in select theaters June 24, 2022 and nationwide July 15, 2022.

Keywords: Jenny Slate, Isabella Rossellini, Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, Lesley Stahl, Dean Fleischer-Camp, Thomas Mann, stop-motion animation, Lesley Stahl, Philip Larkin, The Trees, Andrew Goldman, Elisabeth Holm, Caroline Kaplan, Terry Leonard, Paul Mezey, Nick Paley, A24, Rosa Salazar, Terry Leonard

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