MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON (2021/2022) – My rating: 4/10

A poster featuring the titular character using a Tootsie Pop wrapper as a parachute.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a live-action/stop-motion animated comedy-drama directed by Dean Fleischer Camp (in his feature directorial debut), with a screenplay by Fleischer Camp, Jenny Slate, and Nick Paley from a story by Fleischer Camp, Slate, Paley, and Elisabeth Holm. It is based on a series of shorts of the same name written by Slate and Fleischer Camp. Slate reprises her voice role as Marcel, an anthropomorphic shell living with his grandmother Connie. I am not a fan of animated films, having said that, I’ve learned to accept them because they have improved drastically over the decades. Because of the Oscar nominations, I watched Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. Having nothing to do with the animation, I disliked this feature as it was boring and annoying. Of course, this is just my opinion, others may enjoy the film.

Following the end of his marriage, documentary filmmaker Dean (Dean Fleischer Camp) moves into an  Airbnb and discovers Marcel (voice: Jenny Slate), a one-inch-tall talking shell living in the home with his grandmother, Nana Connie (voice: Isabella Rossellini), and Alan, his pet ball of lint.

Inspired by Marcel’s whimsicality, resourcefulness, and fascination with the world, Dean begins filming Marcel’s daily activities, most of which consist of gathering resources from the backyard in order to support himself and Nana Connie. Connie is wise but she has some dementia. She tends to her garden assisted by insects she has befriended. Marcel and Connie share their mutual love of 60 Minutes and Lesley Stahl.

I found Marcel the Shell with Shoes On to be quite boring and a little depressing. I can’t imagine any child being interested in listening to the voice of Marcel going on about nothing, not to mention the lack of activity.  I was so hoping for a robust presentation of a children’s story that would forever be remembered for its exciting environment and family ethics. Some might consider the Marcel story cute. I found it hard to sit through the whole film.  Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is streaming for $4.99 on Prime Video. If this is your thing, Check It Out

As of Feb 29, 2022, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has grossed $6,333,702 (96.1%) domestically, $256,367 (3.9%) internationally, and $6,590,069 Worldwide. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 99% of 158 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The critical consensus reads, “Poignant, profound, and utterly heartwarming, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is animated entertainment with real heart.

[MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON is Oscar-nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards for a total of 1 nomination]



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