Studio Chizu has unveiled the full international trailer for “Belle,” Mamoru Hosoda’s highly anticipated animated feature. The anticipated movie will be released in Japan on July 16 by Toho. Paris-based sales company Charades is representing the film in international markets. Nippon Television handles sales for Asia.
“Belle” marks Hosoda’s ninth project and follows the 2018 Oscar-nominated “Mirai,” which world premiered at Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight and received the Annie Award for best animated feature. The new film has been described as a touching coming of age story with a philosophical edge and a fantasy-filled visual style.
The film 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” brought together a top-notch crew of international talents, the first of its kind in the history of Japanese animation. These include Jin Kim, the character designer who previously worked on several iconic Disney movies like “Frozen” and “Moana;” and Eric Wong, the British architect and designer who gave life to Hosoda’s design, creating the world of “U”. The feature also lured veteran animation players Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart from Cartoon Saloon, an Irish animation studio behind the Oscar-nominated “Song of the Sea” and “The Secret of Kells,” and “Wolfwalkers,” nominated at this year’s Oscars.
Hosoda’s previous film, “Mirai,” world premiered at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in 2018 before earning an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination, as well as winning the Annie Award for best independent animated feature. Some of his best-known films also include “Summer Wars” and “Digimon: The Movie – Digimon Adventure: Children’s War Game!”
“’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,” Hosoda previously said about the film. “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.”
“Belle” is produced by Hosoda’s long-standing collaborator, Yuichiro Saito, president of Studio Chizu, the director’s animation banner.
Watch the trailer below.