Review: Why Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is the Movie of The Year


Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dupre

Marcel is seen prepared and ready to attack the journey of locating his family.

There’s not many movies these days that can bring you to happy tears and leave you uplifted. This seemingly silly ‘kids’ movie about a one-inch googly eyed mollusk with pink shoes is special, timeless and enduring.
Based on a series of YouTube shorts by director Dean Fleischer-Camp, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On achieves greatness with its ability to connect viewers with the best and most important aspects of humanity, all through a tiny snail shell with an adorable voice.
The movie – classified as a mockumentary – tells the story of a one-inch tall snail named Marcel, who loses his family and goes on the emotional but rewarding journey of finding his loved ones. Marcel’s take on life and the way he sees everything is at the heart of this movie. The director pulls off the almost impossible feat of making this movie adorable without ever seeming cheesy.
Marcel and his Grandmother Connie reside in an Airbnb, using things such as plants for their homes and bread for their beds, for their day to day needs. When a guest who happens to be a filmmaker named Dean arrives, everything changes. Marcel explains to Dean how they went from a community with over 250 shells to just him and his aunt, all while Dean is filming.
From this point on Dean decides he is going to turn this into a documentary about Marcel and his family. Dean follows Marcel around and the viewer learns about the world he and his aunt live in. Somehow, through Marcel’s eyes conveying his tiny view of the world, the viewer can’t help but see the world in a better light. Marcel decides to look for his family and Dean agrees to help him on his mission.
The dialogue in this movie is perfect. Every line is significant and either leaves you laughing or crying – or both. Director Dean Fleischer-Camp’s ability to bring every emotion out of you at once is mesmerizing. His use of cinematography along with the soundtrack, paired with each characters’ dialogue wraps you up into this alternate universe where it’s just you, Marcel, and the shells.
Marcel may have made his first appearance to viewers years ago on YouTube, but this movie sits apart from other movies. It’s in a league of its own. Heartwarming, pure and inspiring.
“Guess why I smile a lot. Uh, cause it’s worth it.” One of the many quotes from the movie that make you love Marcel. It may sound silly, but Marcel steals your heart and makes you want to be a better person. If you enjoy heartwarming and beautiful movies, Marcel the Shell is for you.