5/10 In 2010 there was a three minute stop-motion animated short film of the same name that was the world’s introduction to Marcel, a seashell with a single googly eye wearing a pair of shoes. Voiced by Jenny Slate, Marcel’s adventure would lead to more adventures on YouTube with “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Two” (2011) and “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Three” (2014). These YouTube videos went viral and became quite the hit. These adventures follow Marcel and were aimed at children/younger audiences. With the success of the viral YouTube videos, A24 snatched up the rights to this movie, which premiered last year at the Telluride Film Festival. While this PG movie is wholesome and younger viewers will appreciate the cuteness, the movie doesn’t sustain the hour and a half running time and won’t pull in anyone who didn’t already enjoy the shorts on YouTube. Slate’s vocal performance is great, the movie’s production design is awesome with how they incorporate household items from pencils to bread to tennis balls into making up Marcel’s world and the movie has a nice message regarding family, not giving up and dealing with loss. The movie’s score from Disasterpeace (who did an amazing job scoring “Under the Silver Lake”) perfectly suits the innocent and quirky nature of the movie. Despite these positive qualities, the movie has several problems which means this would have been better if it would have been split into a few parts and released on YouTube for free, since this isn’t worth your hard earned money to see in theaters. The story is so thin that the film makers had to stretch this out to make the run time long enough to count as a theatrical movie. There is an insane amount of product placement ranging from CBS to Apple to 60 Minutes to Google to YouTube and several more companies that the movie shills hard for. I get that this is in no way meant to be realistic but there are several impossible things that happen in the movie, which could have been avoided if when Marcel was created they could have given him hands. Speaking of Marcel, voice actress Jenny Slate is a woman and the voice she uses here (and in all Marcel videos) is cute and feminine. Yet Marcel is referred to as a male character, which never felt right. If Marcel is a boy, then they should have used a male voice actor or at least had the female voice actor speak in a more masculine, male sounding voice (similar to how the female voice actor who voices Bart Simpson talks more like a boy). What would have made much more sense, however, would have just been to make Marcel a girl from the beginning, since Marcel is voiced by one and sounds like one and it wasn’t until they said Marcel was a boy that I even realized this. While I appreciate what the film makers were trying to accomplish here, there simply isn’t enough material to warrant a full length feature film and the constant product placement was distracting from what was going on. If you are a fan of Marcel, just wait for this to come online in the near future and if you haven’t followed the adventures of Marcel the Shell on YouTube, there is really no need to start now.

#HeroesInAFullShell / #StarringShellGibson / #SponsoredByShellPLC / #GetShellSoon / #FallenUnderYourShell / #ShellCheck

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