The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been: Marcel the Shell’s small but happy world

Marcel the Sheel (image via YouTube (c) Dean Fleischer-camp and Jenny Slate)
Marcel the Shell (image via YouTube (c) Dean Fleischer-camp and Jenny Slate)


I cannot believe it took me this long to discover the anthropomorphic delights of Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.

Created by writer/director Dean Fleischer-Camp and writer/actress Jenny Slate, this web-based series of shorts, and an accompanying line of gorgeous picture books (Things About Me, The Most Surprised I’ve Ever Been), tells the story of a squeaky-voiced, good-natured shell with one eye, fabulous pink sneakers and oodles of adorable personality (voiced by Slate) in faux-documentary style, edited to look like rough cut footage.

In the roughly three minute shorts, the first of which debuted on August 16, 2010, the most recent on october 20 this year, Marcel confesses in a whimsical, quirky but quite self-aware way, his hopes, dreams and expectations for life while apologising for how messy his home is, and sneezing at plants (which is totally a thing).

Key to his charm is the fact that he happily chatters on with endearing un-self conscious effect about what he likes doing and what he hopes to accomplish, a kind hearted shell who simply wants to interact with people around him, a circle of souls by the way that is growing by the day with the latest instalment of his loquacious whimsy generating 2 million views in the 10 days since it premiered.

That’s some serious attention for a humble, sweet shell who believes that shrimps are “the idiots of the sea” and whose life saying is “Life’s a party, rock your body”.

The only place he isn’t welcome, or rather his voice isn’t welcome, according to Slate is the bedroom where husband Fleischer-Camp has made it abundantly clear there are to be no Marcel-voiced phrases used.

Outside of the boudoir though, Marcel the Shell is king and one of the sweetest creations to have come across my pop culture-loving path in years.

Long may he adorably ramble on.





And here’s some appearances by Jenny Slate on various talk shows where she addresses, among things how she came up with Marcel’s gorgeous voice and why there are certain situations in which she is now not allowed to use it …




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