Movies

A24

Marcel The Shell Is Officially A Movie Star

Our favorite mollusk might make you cry (in a good way) on the big screen.

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“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” took the internet by storm in 2010. His adorable voice and meandering stories were charming and, against all logic, somehow relatable. Now a new movie, Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, delves deeper into his tiny world. Here’s what you need to know.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On started as a viral short.

Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp and co-written by Jenny Slate, the original Marcel the Shell with Shoes On was uploaded to YouTube in October 2010. Since then, it has been viewed more than 35.5 million times.

The character is known for his whimsical, very tiny existence.

The original short alone is full of memorable Marcel the Shell quotes about hilarious small living like...

“Guess what I wear as a hat? A lentil!”

"Guess what I use as a pen? I use a pen but it takes the whole family."

Marcel has a pet “dog.”

Marcel says his one regret in life is that he’ll never have a dog... so sometimes he ties a hair to a piece of lint and drags it around.

His name is Alan.

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Marcel’s iconic voice came first.

The Marcel the Shell voice originated when Slate was sharing a hotel room with five other friends. She told CBS Sunday Morning that her sense of feeling small and cramped inspired her to start speaking in the trademark squeaky voice.

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Dean Fleischer-Camp came up with Marcel’s appearance.

Inspired by the weird voice, Fleischer-Camp knew he wanted to make a short with Slate... but they needed a character. After playing around with some googly eyes, he eventually made Marcel one day while Slate was out. (Slate and Fleischer-Camp were married from 2012 to 2016.)

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Marcel’s Nana Connie is based on Slate’s grandma of the same name.

Marcel’s grandmother has been a character in the “Marcel Universe” since at least 2012, when Slate explained to Conan O’Brien that she was based on her own gravelly-voiced grandmother.

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Marcel has been featured in 3 shorts, 2 books, and now a feature film.

(Not too shabby for a one inch tall shell.)

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Marcel’s creators fielded many offers for the character’s big screen debut.

Slate and Fleischer-Camp have expressed being fiercely protective of the little shell, eschewing big budget pitches they didn’t think honored the character they’d created. “We felt a responsibility to do it right,” Fleischer-Camp told EW, “and I think we did.”

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The movie took 7 years to make.

Producer Elisabeth Holm explained to Romper that part of that timeline had to do with the fact that the movie was, essentially, made four times: audio, then story board, followed by filming backgrounds, then adding the stop-motion characters.

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Marcel is now part of the classic “read” campaign.

(And, I mean, if Marcel didn’t know he made it before, this is his sign...)

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The creators have very different, and profound, takes on who Marcel is.

In the A24 press notes, Slate describes Marcel as “the best version of me.” Fleischer-Camp says Marcel embodies an idea of self-love that “Jenny and I didn’t possess back in 2010, so we made Marcel instead."

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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On premieres in theaters on June 24.

Excited? Check out the movie’s trailer here.