What started as a trilogy of clever, under-5-minute YouTube shorts a decade ago has quietly (and diligently) become one of the best and most surprising films of the year. Yes, it’s largely a stop-motion animated movie about a precocious, eloquent little shell with a googly eye and sneakers, but darn it, there’s actually quite a bit going on here, and every single second of it will just make you melt more and more. Created and voiced by Jenny Slate and directed by (ex-husband) Dean Fleischer Camp, ‘Marcel’ is sweet, charming, hilarious, and even a little bit sniffly along the way. It’s simply brilliant.

4.5/5 stars