When a documentary filmmaker discovers he’s not alone in his rented house, he decides to film and interview his findings. Sharing the house with the filmmaker is an adorable little shell named Marcel. He has a cute, shy personality and wears shoes. Marcel lives with his elderly grandmother, and we get a great insight into Marcel’s life, including his daily routines and how he gets around the large house. We are also educated on how Marcel has survived on his own for so long, including growing fresh food.
Life used to be quite different for Marcel. He was once part of a larger community of other shells like him until something tragic happened. As the documentary progresses, various clips are uploaded to the internet, and Marcel is soon an internet star. As his fame rises, Marcel begins to hope that perhaps someone from the outside world can provide much-needed clues on where his family could be hiding and if they are still alive.
Those who adore a film with many new and fresh ideas in a fantastic world will be surprised at the film’s many achievements. Created using stop-motion, Marcel, the Shell with Shoes On is a touching drama film with several moments of comedy. This film is an adaptation based on a short film where a mollusc named Marcel was interviewed.
I’m proud to announce that there is plenty to love about this film. Firstly, Marcel is easily one of the most charming and adorable characters you’ll ever witness in cinema. The character has many moments of innocence and comedy, especially when he tries to understand critical details from the outside world or asks awkward and uncomfortable questions. Most importantly, Marcel carries a small child-like heart full of feelings and various emotions, and it’s impossible for an audience not to share a tear or two throughout, especially when it comes to Marcel seeking his lost loved ones and being protective of his loving grandmother.
Visually, the film is packed with stunning imagery and a high level of creativity that is impossible not to praise. The filmmaker has paid attention to many finer details, not just on Marcel but elements found in the background or objects with which Marcel interacts throughout the film. The music is a joy and compliments the mixture of themes.
Pacing for the vast majority is excellent. I love the idea that viewers share the same experience with the filmmaker who captures Marcel daily and learns more about him. Sure, some plot details are slightly predictable, but it’s fun to see it all unfold. My only minor issue with the film was that I found a few scenes overstayed their welcome or dragged just a little longer than needed.
Overall, there is so much to admire and praise here, starting with stunning imagery and the great use of stop-motion technology. This film is highly creative and excellent in finer details. Marcel himself is adorable, cute, and charming and has many moments that bring laughter and tears to the audience. The story is touching and fun, with only a few scenes dragging on. Sure, some moments are also predictable but watching Marcel’s journey unfold is indeed an applaudable experience, and audiences are guaranteed to be filled with various emotions. It’s a solid reminder that big things can come from small packages, such as a cute shell wearing shoes. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2021) is Available in Australian Cinemas from January 5th 2023.