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Recommended age 8-18
89 minutes
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MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON cover image Click to play video trailer
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. MP

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 on some streaming platforms beginning June 23, 2022.

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

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.

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

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

I give Marcel The Shell With The 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, 2021.

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

I love this movie! Marcel The Shell with Shoes On is a feel-good mockumentary based on the adorable YouTube videos made by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp. It will make you laugh and cry and will inspire you to have hope.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is about Marcel (Jenny Slate), a loveable seashell, with shoes on - hence the name. After the mysterious disappearance of his family, Marcel is left with his grandmother, Connie (Isabella Rossellini). But a filmmaker, Dean (Dean Fleischer-Camp), finds them and decides to make a documentary about Marcel and, much to their surprise, it goes viral. Can all this newfound fame help Marcel find his family? Watch to find out!

This film is unlike anything I've seen before! Even though it is purely fictional, the documentary aspect of it feels so genuine. The conversations between Dean and Marcel and the mistakes made by Marcel largely contribute to its genuine feel. While the movie is based on the adorable YouTube videos made by Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate, it's not necessary to watch them before watching this film. However, the YouTube videos are short and worth the watch if you have the time. Similar to the original videos, stop motion animation is used to create Marcel and Nana Connie, while the rest is live action. The sets and props are so creative and comedic. The shells use bread as beds and couches and honey as an adhesive to climb walls, as well as plant pots, tree houses and homes. Marcel's comedic timing is impeccable, and his laughter is so infectious. As the voice of Marcel, Jenny Slate makes him cuter than ever - if that is even possible. And Isabella Rossellini perfectly voices the nurturing and loving grandma we all want.

The message of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is to have hope and remember to smile because "it's worth it." It also has themes of the importance of friendship and family. This movie is great for the whole family, but it may be a bit confusing for younger children.

I give Marcel the Shell with Shoes On 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. Fans of the YouTube videos will love this movie, as will everyone else. It comes out in theaters June 24, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On is a funny, thoughtful, little wonder, just like its lead character. This is a part all-ages adventure, and part rumination on family, loss and how one shell understands and experiences a great, big world.

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On follows the shoe-sporting shell of the same name (Jenny Slate), who's just a couple inches tall and lives with his grandmother Connie (Isabella Rosselini). Marcel and Connie were once two members of a thriving community populated with creatures just like them in stature, but one night, they disappeared. Marcel and Connie struggle to stay afloat and maintain their way of life, especially as Connie grows older and less self-reliant. Now, Marcel's daily life is being documented by Dean, a documentarian who wants to post his Marcel-centric footage online and see what comes of it. Dean's videos go viral and, suddenly, Marcel is an online sensation. With this newfound fame, Marcel harnesses his clout to find his lost family with the help of Dean and his thousands of fans.

A tennis ball rolls around on a vacant floor, and a tiny shell with sneakers pops out. From its first moments, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On puts you in its lead character's shoes. There's a magic to seeing things from the point of view of Marcel. From there, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On proves it has so much to offer. This movie is so lively and funny, like genuinely funny. Marcel's unexpected, but perfectly logical objection to signing with "peace and love" had me leaning forward with laughter. At the same time, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On has truly devastating moments, but always in silences and pauses--it tugs on the heartstrings with grace.

The lesson of Marcel the Shell With Shoes On is to persevere, especially for those you love. Marcel's winning attitude isn't a put-on--the frequent small difficulties he encounters demonstrates that, at his core, Marcel is a fighter. Undaunted in his quest to find his family, Marcel holds on to hope and gets on the path to find what he's been searching for. Marcel is just a kind, positive little stinker, weathering life's ups and downs.

I give Marcel the Shell With Shoes On 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. Whether you're young, old or anywhere in between, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On will make you laugh--it might make you cry, but most of all, it will make you smile in its own gentle way. Go see this movie! Marcel the Shell With Shoes On released in select theaters June 24, 2022 and expands nationwide in the upcoming weeks.

By Benjamin P, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 16

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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.
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