When You Can Almost See the Book It Could Be

Elizabeth Bluemle - August 20, 2010

Shove over, Mr. Bill; there’s a new stop-action star in town. I’m talking about the protagonist of a quirky, addictive little video that surfaced this week (brought to our attention via Facebook by editor and author Kara LaReau).
The clip features an earnest, endearing young seashell named Marcel, who is “partially a shell” but also has one googly eye, wears shoes, and says random hilarious things that I am tempted to quote but don’t want to spoil for you. Marcel takes us on a brief tour of his life; I would love to have been in the room when the improvisation was going on. It’s a short, funny video that also manages to pull off some small, heartbreaking moments, both understated and touching. Written by Saturday Night Live comedienne and actress Jenny Slate (who also provides Marcel’s delicious voice) and Dan Fleischer-Camp (who also directed, edited, and animated the piece), this is a little slice of genius.

I have to say, after watching this umpteen times, I found myself itching for a book of Marcel. Not because the video lacks anything or isn’t the best format for this character (it doesn’t, and it is), but because I have wanted to share Marcel with everyone (adult or kid) who walks through the door. Something like a How Are You Peeling?/Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey mashup. Anyone? Publishers? Only, promise me that the Saturday morning cartoon spin-off won’t turn Marcel, with his refreshing lack of sarcasm, into a boring formula smart-aleck.
If a book does eventually come out, would I be able to say that I sell sea shells by the PW shore?

15 thoughts on “When You Can Almost See the Book It Could Be

    1. shelftalker elizabeth

      Also, lifting the skis and tying them to the roof would be a (pun alert) stretch. But I believe in Marcel. If he wants to ski on toenails “from a man” (god, I love that detail), then he’ll ski, by gum.

  1. Lisa J. Michaels

    Adorable…cracked me up, and yes…it was heart-warming. The voice reminds me of Lily Tomlin’s, “Edith Anne”.

  2. Page Traynor

    I love this, love this, love this. It made me laugh but tears came to my eyes. I loved the voice and think it added.

  3. Kerry

    Thanks for sharing this Elizabeth! I’ve sent it to lots of people already…they all think I’m crazy until they see it! Miss you both!

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