- Gareth Crook
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2023) - 9/10
Well let’s start with the obvious. This is adorable. Marcel (voiced by Jenny Slate) is a shell. An adorable shell. With shoes. He’s living with just his grandma now, Connie (Isabelle Rossellini), but that wasn’t always the case. He misses the company, but Marcel is resourceful and did I mention adorable? Dean (Dean Fleischer Camp), who we don’t really see all that much, is making a documentary about Marcel. He learns about Marcel and how his life has gone so far. Marcel learns about the wider world. Like the fact that is home is now on Airbnb. The charm though is Marcels miniature world and Marcels insightfulness. He’s happy, but misses the other shells. Stop-frame animation really is a marvel and this is a wonderful use of it. I can’t begin to imagine how much work this was, but what a fantastic world to immerse yourself in. Dean is uploading clips of Marcel to YouTube as they go and he’s a hit. Harnessing the power of the internet to try help find his family, before realising Tiktokkers are useless, the outside world is vast and dangerous. Connie is getting old. Forgetting things. She’s frail. Marcel wants to protect her, but they’ve opened Pandora’s box and change is coming whether Marcel likes it or not. It’s a really sweet film that deals with a whole lot more than a little cute character. How do we see ourselves. Our purpose in life. How do we be true to ourselves and those we love. Marcel has a lot to learn and sets about a rollercoaster journey. Wonderful in the truest sense of the world, brilliant… and adorable.