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Attention weebs and anime stans! The trailer for Mamoru Hosoda's upcoming release 'Belle' dropped! Behold the beautiful animation and watch it now!

Mamoru Hosoda’s new film ‘Belle’ gets a release date: Everything to know

From the visionary writer & director who gave us Mirai, we’ll soon be able to see the otherworldly Belle this year! Mamoru Hosoda has returned with a new feature film that unveils the artist’s utmost talent in creating fantastical new worlds. 

Mamoru Hosoda’s other acclaimed works include Wolf Children, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Summer Wars. We’re counting down the days until we can see Hosoda’s upcoming film Belle! Let’s take a look at everything we know about the film so far and its release date. 

Story of Belle

Belle will follow the story of Suzu, an ordinary high school girl who lives in the tranquil countryside. Her life is flipped upside-down after she enters the virtual world of “U” where she becomes a popular singer under the pseudonym Belle. 

From the latest trailer, we get a glimpse at the extraordinary world of “U”, which displays artwork unlike any other. The sneak peek also reveals a possible Beauty and the Beast type of relationship within the virtual world. This would give meaning to the film’s simplistic title & our protagonist’s stage name. 

What seems to be a thrilling adventure, captivating animation, and perhaps a sweeping romance, Belle has raised our expectations through the roof! We don’t need any more confirmation, we’re already sold!

Japanese animation studio behind Belle

Belle has been created by Studio Chizu, the Japanese animation studio created by Mamoru Hosoda & Yuichiro Saito. Both animators had previously worked for Madhouse studios but decided to co-found their own unique animation studio. 

Studio Chizu was founded in order for Hosoda & Saito to create the artistic stories they desired to release. The “auteur studio,” as described by Saito, has won three Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year awards. Studio Chizu has released the films Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, and Mirai

Studio Chizu has decided to collaborate with various acclaimed international artists for the creation of their upcoming film. Jin Kim, who worked on Disney’s Moana & Frozen, has been credited for the character design of Suzu’s online persona Belle. Additionally, Oscar-nominated artists Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart have collaborated on some of the fantasy worlds within Belle

Hosoda & Saito have also teamed with the acclaimed British architect Eric Wong who helped design the online world of “U”. The film’s score has also been contributed by Ludvig Forssell, most known for his work with Hideo Kojima on the video game Death Stranding

Belle’s North American release

The American film distributor GKIDS has acquired the rights to distribute Mamoru Hosoda’s new film in North America. GKIDS is a New York based film distributor with a focus on sophisticated, indie animated films. GKIDS also managed the North American release of Hosoda’s previous film Mirai in 2018. 

Japanese audiences will be able to see Belle in theaters on July 16th. However, North American audiences will need to wait a little bit longer. GKIDS is looking at a theatrical release for this upcoming winter. This estimated release date will also have the film eligible for next award season. The film will be released in both its original Japanese language and also an English-dubbed version. 

Mamoru Hosoda has stated, “Belle is the movie that I have always wanted to create and I am only able to make this film a reality because of the culmination of my past works. I explore romance, action and suspense on the one hand, and deeper themes such as life and death on the other. I expect this to be a big entertainment spectacle.”

From the looks of the trailer and the all-star production team, we wholeheartedly believe Hosoda that Belle will be a true fantasy spectacle! Have you seen the trailer yet? What’s your favorite film by Mamoru Hosoda? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! 

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