Did not 100 % expect to see this one arrive in theathers here since it’s technically a 2021 release, but it has just now, and i just HAD to see it.
Based on a series of shorts of the same name by the same director, Dean Fleischer-Camp, this mix of stop-motion animation and live-action tells of a recently divorced documentary filmmaker, Dean, whom, while staying at an AirBnB, discover the titular Marcel, a one-inch high, talking, antrophomorphic seashell with one eye and “feet gloves”, living there with his granma Connie.
Fascinated, Dean starts filming the seashell’s daily routines, and when he blows up on the internet, Marcel hopes his newfound success can help him and Connie in finding the rest of his seashell community that used to live there, but was swept away after some kind of incident in the past.
Aside from the hilarity of having the Chiodo Bros (of Killers Klowns From Outer Space fame) deliver the top notch stop-motion animation for this utterly wholesome subject, it’s worth noting that – as other critics have pointed out – this movie does remind one of the japanese style of slice of life anime entertaiment, as it understands the appeal and finds the “magic” in everyday activity and routines, with the oddity here being these decorated seashells that are just alive, can talk, etc.
The plot it’s simple as expected, it does conclude properly and serves the needed purpose of tying together the various vignettes/situations the movie is composed of, but it’s not the strong suit, nor was it ever intended to be, that would be the amazing characterization, with Marcel being not just wide-eyed and charming, but also fairly relatable, quite chatty and surprisingly funny too.
Quite good one, that also cleverly keeps the runtime short for the better.