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Little Marcel the Shell Goes Big Time


You may recall a little character named Marcel who first appeared in a short film, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On which premiered at AFI Fest 2010. It won for Best Animated Short. It later became the official selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and it won the Grand Jury and Audience Award at the New York International Children’s Film Festival. This was really big news for such a little guy.

The original short, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

The stop-motion animated project featured a documentarian interviewing the one-eyed, tennis shoe-wearing seashell. Marcel shares what it’s like living in a human’s apartment, his hobbies, his struggles, his joys, etc. Just over three minutes in length, the film has seen over 32,350,000 views on YouTube. Now that little shell who could is now headed to the big screens (really big screens if you are a shell) this summer in a full-length feature film.

Like the original short film and the two sequels, this quirky comedy is labor or love by director Dean Fleischer-Camp and actress Jenny Slate. At the time of the first film, the two were dating and they made plans to create a TV show based on Marcel, but nothing materialized. The two married in 2012 and later divorced in 2016, but they are partners once again for the project which includes appearances by Thomas Mann, Isabella Rossellini, Rosa Salazar, Andy Richter and 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl as herself!

A24 describes the new film as a coming-of-age mockumentary comedy written by Fleischer-Camp, Jenny Slate and Nick Paley. Marcel 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.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is expected to be released in the U.S. on June 24, 2022.

(Main Image: A24)

Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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