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See A24’s adorable oddity Marcel the Shell With Shoes On early and for free

Polygon’s ticket giveaway will send people in 15 cities to see the movie

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Marcel the Shell — a small seashell with googly eyes — stands on the raised arm of a record player in Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Image: A24
Tasha Robinson leads Polygon’s movie coverage. She’s covered film, TV, books, and more for 20 years, including at The A.V. Club, The Dissolve, and The Verge.

Fans of the kind of auteur-driven horror that helped make A24’s name as a powerhouse distribution boutique — most recently, the likes of Midsommar, Hereditary, X, and Men — may have been a little nonplussed over the trailer for its latest release, a feature-length version of a viral YouTube phenomenon that started in 2010. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On started as a series of stop-motion video interviews with the small googly-eyed shell, voiced by comedian Jenny Slate. A book version, written by Slate and her then-husband — Dean Fleischer-Camp, who also directed the YouTube videos — followed in 2011. Now the feature-length expansion is coming to theaters, and Polygon’s ticket giveaway in 15 major cities can help you see it early and for free.

Horror obviously isn’t the only thing A24 does — this is the same company that put out Everything Everywhere All At Once, Lady Bird, Uncut Gems, The Green Knight, and Zola, all idiosyncratic movies coming from wildly different voices and perspectives. But Marcel may be the company’s most consciously cute and whimsical release to date. The film is designed as a mockumentary where Fleischer-Camp meets and talks to the shell, eventually helping him launch a nationwide search for his “family,” the other shells and objects he once knew from a household whose human inhabitants broke up. Isabella Rossellini co-stars as the voice of Marcel’s grandmother, an older shell observing the proceedings and looking after Marcel.

Head to Polygon’s giveaway page to sign up for free tickets to screenings in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC. 50 pairs of tickets will be given away in each city.

Note that your RSVP does not guarantee admission: Seating is limited and based on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is not guaranteed.