Paris-based film sales agency Charades and anime maestro Mamoru Hosoda’s Studio Chizu (Japan) have released the full international trailer for Belle, the director’s latest visionary animated feature ready to carry moviegoers away into a compelling, beautifully crafted world. The film will be released in Japan on July 16 by Toho; Nippon Television is handling sales in Asia.
Belle follows Suzu, a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters “U,” a virtual world of 5 billion members on the Internet. There, she is not Suzu anymore but Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest of becoming who they truly are.
Belle is Hosoda’s ninth project and follows the 2018 Oscar-nominated Mirai, which world premiered at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and received the Annie Award for best animated feature. The new film promises everything that one can expect from Hosoda’s original vision: a touching coming of age story with a philosophical edge and exciting style, exploring dynamics he already tackled in films like Summer Wars (2009).
As previously announced, the upcoming feature boasts a top-notch crew of international talents, the first of its kind in the history of Japanese animation. Character designer Jin Kim, who previously worked on several iconic Disney movies like Frozen and Moana, shaped the title character. British architect and designer Eric Wong gave life to Hosoda’s design, creating the never-before-seen world of “U”. Directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart from Cartoon Saloon, the Irish animation studio behind the Oscar-nominated films Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells and Wolfwalkers, contributed their talents to fantasy scenes set in the virtual world.
Belle is produced by Hosoda’s long-standing collaborator, Yuichiro Saito, President of Studio Chizu.