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If you haven’t met him yet, you’ve missed one of the cutest characters in the history of stop-motion animation. His name is Marcel the Shell and he was created by Dean Fleischer-Camp in 2010. His first short, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On , introduces us to a small hermit crab that pokes its enormous eyes out of the depth of her pussy and wears pink tennis shoes while being interviewed by a documentary film director. The documentary filmmaker never appears on screen and we can only hear his voice while he talks with the peculiar character. Marcel gradually begins to reveal what his life is like and a couple of questions and answers are enough to win the viewer’s heart. His voice (by actress Jenny Slate ) is perfect and his answers are witty and full of the melancholy generated by seeing that defenseless being bravely facing the world.
The first short was premiered at the AFI Fest festival on August 16, 2010, where it was recognized with the award for Best Animated Short. It also won Jury and Audience Awards at the New York International Children’s Film Festival. In October of that same year it was uploaded to the official Fleischer-Camp channel on YouTube, where it has more than 32 million views . On November 14, 2011, the director uploaded the sequel to YouTube and in October 2014 he posted the third part, all following the same format and achieving 11 and 4 million views, respectively.
Little Marcel reminds us that the key to existence is being able to find magic every day, even if the wind blows against us and the world seems like a huge and dangerous place.
Now, more than a decade after his first appearance, Marcel is getting his own feature film . The production company A24 acquired the rights to the character to produce the film that will show Marcel embarking on an adventure to find his lost family. The film took more than six years to produce and was shown at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival in September wowing audiences.
Fleischer-Camp posted on his Instagram account: “This is the hardest I have ever worked on anything. This took over 6 years of tenacity and teamwork, but here we are. I couldn’t be more proud or excited to share this film with the world, who may need it now more than we could have imagined…”
His words serve as a reminder of what it takes to build any type of project : time, effort, money, patience and strength to move forward when things don’t go as expected. And in that sense, filmmakers are not so different from entrepreneurs, right? Little Marcel reminds us that the key to existence is being able to find magic every day, even if the wind blows against us and the world seems like a huge and dangerous place.
In addition to the movies, Marcel has two children’s books and it would not be strange to start seeing the character on t-shirts, stuffed animals, cases and cups. It’s just lovely. Sean Fleischer-Camp has directed other films such as the documentary Fraud (2016) and the web series David (2016).
The feature film Marcel the Shell With On will be released on June 24 in the United States
Here you can see the original short of 2010 and the trailer of the film.