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‘Marcel the Shell’ documentary honors decade-old character



On Friday, the World Theatre premiered “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” a documentary style movie, which showcases the YouTube icon. Originally posted to YouTube in 2010, “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” won the hearts of millions with his adorable voice, small way of life and sarcastic nature. 

After 12 years, Marcel and his grandmother Connie make the best of every day together in their AirBnB home, wishing for their family’s safe return to them. Until one day, an amateur filmmaker named Dean, moves in and begins filming Marcel. 

Dean follows Marcel and Connie through their daily lives, slowly learning more about who they are and what happened to their family. Marcel and Dean go on an exciting and emotional journey to locate Marcel’s family. Between the internet fame, Lindsey Stahl and a little sarcasm, Marcel and Dean form a friendship that will last a lifetime. 

As a person who had never even heard of “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” I was not really sure what to expect from the movie. I figured it was just a cute kid film made to help parents keep their kids occupied so they could catch a quick nap. 

However, after seeing the trailer with scenes of big news channels covering Marcel’s fame, I was surprised to find a successful history of him on YouTube. People recalled watching Marcel back in middle and elementary school with 33 million views on the original 2010 video. 

While watching the original videos, I noticed it started out more as a side hobby. Though the voiceover was accurate and on point, everything else was what you might expect from a stop-motion YouTube channel from 2010. 

The audio for Marcel was much louder than Dean’s and the lighting between shots flickered between dark and bright as the sun and lights shifted over time. The content was also very episodic and was just a compilation of Marcel’s daily life as a small shell with shoes on. 

Now imagine my surprise when I saw it on the big screen.

Twelve years of silence translated to time spent improving his filming skills. 

It started just like the original with Marcel introducing himself. Dean may play an amateur filmmaker in the movie, but the use of his documentary style and storytelling skills make this movie a testimony to his dedication to the art. I could feel his ‘want’ to give his decade-old fans a remastered resolution to their favorite shell. 

This heartwarming story of friendship and family, with plenty of sarcasm to leave you laughing for hours, is a must-see to everyone who does or does not know “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”

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