Little movie with a big heart

In “Marcel the shell with shoes”, Jenny Slate, originally from Milton not only lends her distinct voice to the titular character, a fearless, inch-tall gastropod with googly eyes and orange sneakers, but she also helped create it with her ex-husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp.

The film is a feature-length adaptation of the popular stop-motion shorts and bestselling books Slate co-written with Fleischer-Camp, who directs in addition to starring as a camera-shy documentary maker. Slate, actor, writer, and comedian, draws from within to infuse Marcel with the insight and sensitivity that gives the mini-mollusc a knowledge of the human condition beyond most of us.

Marcel, an inch-tall shell, is the star of the 2022 film "Marcel the shell with shoes."

Shot in the style of a mockumentary, the story follows Marcel, who lives a quaint, happy existence with his grandmother, Nana Connie (Isabella Rossellini), in an Airbnb home in Los Angeles. Marcel rolls around on his trusty steed (a hollowed-out tennis ball) and swings on a zipline made of strands of human hair. He even makes a trumpet out of a piece of curly dry pasta. “I like myself,” Marcel said bluntly in front of the camera.

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