Director – Dean Fleischer Camp – Co-Creator – Jenny Slate – 2021 – US – Cert. PG – 90m
A man makes a documentary about tiny, stop-frame animation shell character Marcel and his granny, the rest of whose family have mysteriously disappeared – out in UK cinemas on Friday, February 17th
Expectations are a funny thing. I’m a huge admirer of both stop-frame as a medium and films which mix up animation and live action. This film does that in a fresh and original way. At its core is a cute little critter named Marcel, part extraordinary visual conceit, part improvised voice over by actress and co-creator Jenny Slate, continuing a long tradition of women voicing small boys in animation.
Slate didn’t just voice the character, though – she originally created the voice as a joke and then Dean Fleischer Camp, suddenly needing to shoot a short film quickly for a commission, threw together a shell, an eye and some tiny shoes to create a unique and, indeed, distinctive-looking character. The character and the short film in which he starred became an internet sensation.
For this feature, the pair have crafted a story in which documentary filmmaker Camp (playing himself) finds himself living in the house which tiny Marcel (voice: Slate) occupies with his ageing and vulnerable grandmother Connie (voice: Isabella Rosellini), their quite considerable extended family having mysteriously disappeared.… Read the rest