Written By Darren
Rating 4 out of 5
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is the feel good film the world needs right now, that not only introduces audiences to one of the most phenomenal film characters in recent memory, but delivers a heartwarming experience that reminds you of the important things in life.
Marcel the Shell first made his debut back in 2010 on YouTube, where he went viral and captured the world’s attention as Marcel told viewers about his day to day activities, hobbies, hopes and disappointments. Creator Dean Fleischer-Camp and actress Jenny Slate, who originally voiced Marcel, have now reunited over a decade later, bringing Marcel and his infectious personality to the big screen in what is destined to be one of the best films of the summer.
The film is told in a documentary style, with Fleischer-Camp capturing Marcel’s day to day life with his grandmother Connie, following Marcel’s rise to internet stardom as he tries to reunite with his long lost family. Within minutes of the film starting, there is an immediate connection between Marcel and the audience. It has been a long time since a character so endearing and relatable has graced the silver screen, giving a truly optimistic view on life despite all the hardship he has faced, helping remind the audience what is truly important in life. Marcel’s personality is absolutely infectious, adding a pizazz to every scene that makes him a larger than life film star, while bringing an undeniable sass as he delivers the honest and sometimes harsh truth. Even though the character is literally a tiny shell with a pair of shoes and a small googly eye, the writing fills out every portion of Marcel’s personality and life, making him feel as real as you and I.
Slate’s voice performance is pitch perfect, capturing the sweet and innocent child-like nature of Marcel, while underpinning the performance with an air of wisdom that makes Marcel a character you can’t help but respect and listen to. She does such a wonderful job voicing Marcel, so much that you do not hear Slate giving a voice performance. There is only Marcel. The supporting cast of Isabella Rossini, Fleischer-Camp, Thomas Mann, Rosa Salazar and Lesley Stahl are all delightful, but this is Slate’s film to shine throughout. The stop-motion animation to create Marcel, Connie and the other shell creatures is wonderful, truly blurring the line between animation and reality as it the mix of Marcel and his friends with our world is seamless.
The screenplay is an absolute delight, creating the documentary style while infusing the film with an incredible amount of heart warming and hilarious moments. It delivers a whirlwind of emotions that will have you laughing, smiling and even crying a little, all in the course of an hour and a half, which is what a film should thrive to do. There are moments where the film hits a few small pacing problems, causing moments where it feels like the story is aimless and dragging, but it's quickly rescued by an absolutely adorable moment that makes you fall in love with Marcell all over again. It’s the ingenuity of the events of the film that make the film a wondrous watch, as it takes everyday items and creates a truly marvelous world for Marcel. Don’t even get me going about the skating scene with Marcel and his grandmother Connie to Shakira’s “Wherever, Whenever” as it was just such a fun scene!
Fleischer-Camp who wrote, directed and stars in the film has truly done a magnificent job creating such a wholesome and heartwarming film, ensuring that Marcel has arrived to take the summer movie season by storm! Especially given all the current events in the world, you just need a feel good and delightful film, and Marcel the Shell with Shoes On fills that void, making it an absolute must see film. So run, don’t walk, to your nearest theatre as Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is just waiting for you to fall in love as this is truly the most delightful and heartwarming film you will see all summer!