Rare is the animated character that entertains children, their parents, and the stoned teenager set. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On is a beloved stop-motion crustacean who handily manages this trifecta, and he’s back in a new video–only his third one in four years of existence.
The creative love-child of married couple Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp, Marcel the Shell started life as a goofy-voiced fake interview subject Slate would embody to pass the time. After the video it inspired went viral, a book followed, and so did an entire phenomenon. Parents would bring children to readings and they’d all spaz out together while watching Slate, a human, unleash the low, quavering voice of the ever-curious Marcel. Now, three years after the book and a follow-up video, comes a third entry in the series, and this one takes place outdoors.
At the top of the video, our noble hero finds himself trapped outside after hastily going after an enormous (to him) grape. The format is the same as the previous entries, with Marcel being interviewed by an unseen videographer (voiced by Fleischer-Camp) and revealing how he sees the world. Everything Marcel says is either a new way to describe how small he is, a socio-philosophical observation, or pure nonsense. (Shrimp are apparently “the idiots of the sea.”) There’s not much that’s radically new here–Marcel gets the sniffles and sings a song–but there need not me. It’s another whimsical cocktail that inspires effortless smiles. The video arrives just in time for the new book Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been, and the least surprised you’ll ever be is when you find out it’s great.JB