In 2010, the world met Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. Marcel, for short.
The one-eyed shell (voiced by Jenny Slate) was first seen talking with Dean Fleischer-Camp on his self-titled YouTube channel, and he took the world by storm, garnering over 32 million views (an impressive feat for a channel with less than 100 thousand subscribers and a handful of videos). And after releasing the third Marcel video in 2014, the amicable shell wasn’t seen again for years. Until 2022, in fact, when Dean released a feature-length film reviving everyone’s favorite fragile friend: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.
With Marcel’s return to the spotlight, parents may be wondering whether or not the director’s YouTube channel will be appropriate for their kids.
That one’s kind of a mixed bag.
Only three videos feature Marcel, a small, jovial shell who talks to Dean about daily life as a shell. Marcel’s adorable, and the shell’s funny, sometimes introspective commentary will cause many viewers to smile. Another charming (and non-Marcel) video, “Hospital Head Doctor,” centers around a hospital run by children who must operate on a girl to extract a butterfly out of her stomach.
While Dean’s videos regarding Marcel are generally clean (with one misuse of God’s name, the acronym “B.S.” and a brief story about impaling someone), a couple of the channel’s other videos contain some more difficult content. A short video titled “Smile” contains a “g-dd–n.” In “Catherine,” a woman bleeds after skinning her knee.
Dean Fleischer-Camp isn’t a channel that’s likely to garner attention to itself. Its last video was published in 2019, and its content centers around strange, short videos that appear to be made more for the creator’s personal enjoyment than anyone else’s. However, as Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’s origin, the channel will certainly gain more attention through investigative visitors curious for more of their favorite sentient shell.
Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”