Marcel the Shell with Shoes On parents guide

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Parent Guide

Slow, heartwarming, and sincere, this film is kid-safe, but it might not move quickly enough for young viewers.

Overall A

Theaters: After two dozen of his seashell friends have been scooped up and taken away, Marcel goes in search of his found family.

Release date July 1, 2022

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity B+
Substance Use B

Why is Marcel the Shell with Shoes On rated PG? The MPAA rated Marcel the Shell with Shoes On PG for some suggestive material and thematic elements.

Run Time: 89 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Upon the collapse of his marriage, Dean (Dean Fleischer-Camp) moves into an Airbnb only to find that it’s already occupied. Marcel the Shell (Jenny Slate) and his grandmother, Nanna Connie (Isabella Rossellini) have been living there for years, along with Marcel’s pet lint, Alan. Although life isn’t easy when you’re a one-inch-tall shell with feet, Marcel and Nanna have found ways to make it work. There used to be almost two dozen other shells living in the house, but most of them have been missing for the last two years, after a fight between former human tenants saw the shells shoved into a suitcase and carried off. When Dean starts posting videos of Marcel on the internet, Marcel becomes a minor celebrity, and hopes to use that fame to track down his missing family. Instead, his house just becomes a photo-op for internet wannabes. But without some big help, Marcel is never going to be able to restore his community!

This is a very cute little movie. It’s not very tightly structured, and most of the film consists of Marcel finding ways to make things work while dropping very emotionally sincere lines about what he sees as the broader truths of life. He’s a precocious little guy, and there’s a lot he doesn’t know about the wider world, but he’s got an enthusiastic optimism that translates surprisingly well onto a stop-motion animated shell with one eye.

Parents really don’t have much to worry about as far as content goes, but I’m not sure if older kids are going to have the patience for this quirky little character study – at least, I don’t think I would have at that age. Young kids probably won’t follow the story; they’ll just have fun watching the little fella roll around the house in a tennis ball and try to garden beets easily five times his size.

While Marcel the Shell with Shoes On isn’t gunning for any major awards, it’s a welcome breath of slow, heartwarming, and completely innocuous fun in a market frequently crowded with dark, violent, and profane options. Of course, if those are more your speed, this might come off as cloying or saccharine – which I suppose it is, at points – but it does so with so much open sincerity that it’s hard to stay upset with the film. It’s like being mad at a puppy for being overexuberant. At least this one won’t pee on your carpets.

Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp. Starring Jenny Slate, Dean Fleischer-Camp, and Isabella Rossellini. Running time: 89 minutes. Theatrical release July 1, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Rating & Content Info

Why is Marcel the Shell with Shoes On rated PG? Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is rated PG by the MPAA for some suggestive material and thematic elements.

Violence: A shell is injured off-screen and seen with a cracked shell. A shell dies off-screen and is buried.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are occasional uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There is a brief reference to marijuana in an internet comment.

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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Parents' Guide

Marcel learns the hard way that posting personally identifying information on the internet is not a very good idea. What are some risks of posting information like your name or address online? What are some things you can do to make sure you’re being safe on the internet? What other information should you keep off the internet?

Marcel and Connie have made a lot of changes to manage living in their home. What are some real world examples of the accommodations people make for disabilities or other challenges? What kind of changes could we make to the world to make it more accessible for more people?

Home Video

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Other offbeat comedies about finding family include Brian and Charles, Onward, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Coco, and Meet the Robinsons. Films told from the perspective of smaller creatures include Ratatouille, Rango, Toy Story, and A Bug’s Life.