5x Annie Award-Nominated Film, Featuring the Voices of Chace Crawford, Manny Jacinto, Kylie McNeill, and Hunter Schafer
Opens in over 1,000 theatres and IMAX screens in both its original Japanese language and all new English dubbed version on January 14, with exclusive IMAX previews in select markets beginning January 12
BELLE is an original story written and helmed by celebrated director Mamoru Hosoda, whose previous films include Mirai, The Boy and the Beast, Wolf Children, Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and others. Hosoda is joined by long time producing partner and Studio Chizu co-founder Yuichiro Saito, as producer on the title.
BELLE made its critically-acclaimed world debut at the Cannes Film Festival and its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival. The film has also played in competition at the London Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Los Angeles’ Animation is Film festival, where the film was awarded the Special Jury Prize. BELLE has received honors at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle, Austin Film Critics Association, Detroit Film Critics Society, Florida Film Critics Circle, Online Association of Female Film Critics, and Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. Last month, BELLE was also nominated for five Annie Awards, including Best Independent Animated Feature.
On BELLE, the Japanese creative team worked in collaboration with a roster of international talents. Character designer Jin Kim, the artist behind several iconic Disney features including Moana, Tangled, and Frozen, designed the titular Belle. Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar®-nominated Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart (Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) also join the team, contributing artwork for the various virtual fantasy worlds within the film. Hosoda continues his film collaborations with architects, and is joined by up-and-coming British architect and designer Eric Wong, who designed the virtual world of “U.” Rounding out the team, composer Ludvig Forssell, best known for his collaborations with video game auteur Hideo Kojima (Death Stranding, Metal Gear Solid V), joined the score team for the film.
BELLE was released in theatres including IMAX screens in Japan starting July 16, 2021. Despite ongoing limited seating capacities and nationwide curfews, the film topped the box office for three consecutive weekends. The film marks Hosoda’s first title to have IMAX screenings, and played in 38 IMAX theatres throughout Japan. BELLE has crossed over 6.53 billion yen in box office to date, and has become Hosoda’s highest-grossing film ever, beating the lifetime gross of Boy and the Beast.
From the celebrated Academy Award®-nominated director Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu, creators of Mirai, Wolf Children, Summer Wars, and more, comes a fantastical, heartfelt story of growing up in the age of social media.
Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U”, a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a gorgeous and globally-beloved singer. One day, her concert is interrupted by a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an emotional and epic quest to uncover the identity of this mysterious “beast” and to discover her true self in a world where you can be anyone.