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Marcel the Shell helps us 'find empathy and be vulnerable'

More than a decade ago, a stop-animated minuscule shell first appeared on YouTube with a simple and endearing message.

“My name is Marcel and I’m partially a shell as you can see on my body but I also have shoes and umm a face,” Marcel spoke to the camera.

His first video now has more than 32 million views and it’s inspired multiple other shorts, two children’s books, and now a feature-length film: “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”

Marcel is voiced by actor and comedian Jenny Slate, known for her recurring roles on “Parks and Recreation” and “Bob’s Burgers,” and her multiple stand-up specials.

“I think we are all rather small for the large amount of feelings that are inside of us,” Slate explained during our interview. “Of course [Marcel] has this experience and whole galaxy of emotions inside of him, there’s never one feeling happening for us at once.”

Dean Fleisher-Camp co-created Marcel and plays the amateur documentarian capturing Marcel’s life.

The film takes viewers on a journey with Marcel and his grandmother, Nana Connie, as he attempts to find family, navigate internet fame, and overcome tragedy.


Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Chris Remington