Director: Dean Fleischer Camp

Starring: Jenny Slate, Isabelle Rossellini, Dean Fleischer Camp

Year: 2021

The best movie of the year is here and it’s animated; well, sort of.  Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is stop-motion animation, overlapping live-action scenes, and then set within a mockumentary …make sense yet?  Just watch it, trust me, you won’t be sorry.  Filmed first as three separate shorts with companion storybooks for kids, this is the feature length version of the tales of Marcel the Shell, and we absolutely couldn’t be luckier.  Watch, cry, fall in love, and leave changed; not bad for a quick animated flick, starring basically no one, about basically everything.

Marcel is a tiny shell who has a life of his own, along with one eye and a pair of pink shoes.  He lives in a rented house with his grandmother, Nana Connie, and the current guest at the house is a filmmaker named Dean.  Marcel used to have a much larger community, but they were accidentally moved, so now he’s mostly on his own, now that Connie is getting much older.  But that doesn’t stop him from having a zest for life, or from viewing the world through a wonderful, unique lens, which he tries to share with us through a documentary film while searching for the family that he loves & lost.

Be prepared; this film will thaw your heart, break it wide open, and make you see the world in a completely different light.  It’s that powerful a story, that moving an art piece, with Marcel the center, a little guy with big hopes.  His interviews are hilarious and poignant, his tiny world is so ingenious, his grandmother is so wise; their tale will just sweep you off your feet.  Stop-motion set against a real backdrop, the movie comes to life with a magic you don’t feel very often, giving Marcel that special …something …that we’re always looking for.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils