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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On; A Delightful Wholesome Tale. Grade: B

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a story about a talking shell with shoes on named Marcel (Jenny Slate), whom encounters a human being by the name of Dean (Dean Fleischer-Camp). The house Marcel is currently living in has now transformed into an AirBnB, which is why Dean is staying there till he finds an apartment since he and his wife separated. Dean is now documenting Marcel, as he finds the talking shell with shoes on fascinating. 

So it looks like Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is based off a short film back in 2010, which generated millions of views on YouTube. There has been a couple other sequels to this short film, as twelve years later filmmaker Dean Fleischer-Camp gotten around to finally make a full length feature film. The whole backstory of how this came to life is truly awesome, considering this is really the filmmakers baby as he’s been spending great amount of his own life, working on this. Goes to show if you continue to work hard, be extremely dedicated in your craft, and believe in your creation eventually you’ll get noticed and be able to accomplish your dreams and desires.

This is my 100th A24 film I’ve watched in my lifetime! Who would’ve known back in 2013 where the first A24 film was released A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan the 3rd, we would be experiencing over one hundred films later in a span of nine years… A24 really has come a long way from being a fan fav independent film company, delivering unforgettable original films. With Marcel the Shell with Shoes On… The magic of A24 continues to thrive in our minds and our hearts, as this was definitely an adorable film to experience.

This mockumentary of a talking shell with shoes on, surprisingly has a lot of heart. I feel this film will touch a lot of people, in terms of the relatability this film explores in terms of real life. Whether it be those whom didn’t grow up with a big family, as mainly a grandparent had to take care and raise you. Whether it be handling the hardships of life at a young age, so you had to fend for yourself and create effective ways to take care of yourself. Whether it be dealing with grief of a loved one whom unfortunately passed. Whether it be getting something you ask for, but once you get it you end up being a little disappointed. Whether it be feeling overwhelmed by a massive amount of people around you, so you tend to wanting to be alone… This film really touches a lot, as I can see audiences really getting into their emotions, as I did in the conclusion of this film.

I loved experiencing the character Marcel. I adore the simple design of the character, but I also adore the personality of this character. He’s funny, has a mind like Curious George as his mind is filled with curiosity, has charisma, and is an extremely caring soul. As you’re watching Marcel, it’s like being in the same room with a child of your own, a younger sibling, or a younger cousin… You can’t help but to feel a sense of happiness, because the mind is simply pure, genuine, and wholesome. A mind in which you all used to have when you were younger filled with wonder and joy, but unfortunately the world tarnished your souls over the course of time, as you’re simply searching a way to get yourself back to that place.

I felt the story as a whole was simply done and enjoyable. Once the plot starts going, as Dean figures he can help Marcel by trying to find his family over the course of videos made on YouTube… It’s a simple yet joyous adventure, that really doesn’t go beyond their surroundings. Sure a grand adventure can be described in this spectacle where one is traveling the world to find them, but the real adventure is the experience regarding getting to know someone from the inside, especially when that someone has a unique mind that’s full of life.

The comedy material was adorable and effective, not by the mockumentary standards of comedy, but by the way Marcel and his grand mother Connie (Isabella Rossellini) interact with Dean and each other. They’ll be just brief moments where Connie and Marcel just be themselves, as it can be so adorable and funny to endure. I also felt the comedic aspect regarding the over barring nature, when Marcel goes viral and how everyone reacts was hilarious as well. Like when Marcel does a live stream, as they discover where Marcel lives… Everyone all of a sudden just wants to capitalize on attention, by recording themselves in these obnoxious Tik Tok videos. 

I guess one main flaw I have was the film refusing to get to know the character Dean, on a more personal level. I understand this film is centered around Marcel, but they’ll be times where Marcel wants to know Dean more on a personal level, as he refuses to discuss his personal life. The film often teases they’ll be a point where Dean will open up, but he never does so it feels annoying some, as you want to have more depth with that character. Oh there’s a flaw that has to do with something in the ending, unfortunately can’t be spoil, but it doesn’t really tie in too well with Marcel at all.

Overall, Marcel with the Shoes On is a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, definitely is one of the better matured family centered films released this year that’s for sure. -Mitch Smietana

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