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SFFILM 2022 Review: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Marcel the Shell standing on top of a keyboard looking up at a computer monitor

SFFILM 2022 Review: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Take it back to 2010. Do you remember Marcel? Specifically, Marcel the Shell with shoes on? 

Did that unlock a hidden memory? Great. Because even though it’s 2022, Marcel found his way back into our hearts and our screens with its latest movie, Marcel the Shell with Shoes OnIt made its 2022 SFFILM Festival debut on Friday, April 22, inside the Castro Theatre to a room full of excited guests to kick off their Friday evening with a good ol’ heartfelt film.

A quick recap

Marcel the Shell is an internet sensation that first came into our lives in 2010 as a stop-motion animated “documentary-like” short film published on YouTube. The film focused on a seashell named Marcel (voiced by Jenny Slate), best known for his single googly eye and pair of miniature shoes. It’s a collaboration between Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate. Since the video’s release, the first YouTube video has over 32 million views and counting

Fast-forwarding to today, we meet Marcel again, but now he’s with his grandmother, Connie (voiced by Isabella Rossellini), and their pet lint, Alan, all alone after a mysterious tragedy separated Marcel from his loving seashell community. The actual director of the movie and co-star of the film, Dean Fleischer-Camp, captures Marcel’s journey as he works hard to reunite with his long-lost family. 

Moments into the film, you’re taken back to the innocence and curiosity of what had us fall in love with Marcel in the first place. We’re following Marcel as close as Dean does in the movie, as if we’re in the room with them. It’s silly to think a film about a seashell could be so impactful, but (I hate to pull out the cliche liner) Marcel is small but mighty. Despite his family’s disappearance, he made the best of every situation. He looked at the world bright-eyed with (one) wide-eyed googly eye. 

Watching Marcel the Shell with Shoes On not only tugged at our heartstrings

But it allowed us to appreciate the world, the people we surround ourselves with, and how to find happiness in the most minor ways. This heartwarming tale will have you laugh, cry, and possibly rethink/research heavily when you book an Airbnb. You never know if a seashell community will be occupying the space already! 

Missed its screening at this year’s SFFILM Festival? Don’t worry. A24’s Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is in theaters TODAY!

June 24, 2022

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