Belle Will Be Released in U.K. and Ireland Cinemas on February 4
posted on by Andrew Osmond
Anime Limited has announced that Mamoru Hosoda's film BELLE (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime) will be released in the U.K. and Ireland on February 4 in both dubbed and subtitled versions, with venue details and booking links at https://bellefilm.co.uk/.
The film had its world premiere at the Cannes film festival on July 16 2021 and was released in Japanese cinemas on the following day.
The BFI describes the story:
High-school student Suzu finds everyday social conventions difficult to deal with and is increasingly drawn into an alternative, virtual world via the U app – an Internet-based environment with five billion members. Here, she excels as singing megastar BELLE; her alter-ego even providing her with a confidence boost in reality. U allows people like Suzu, who battles to cope with the loss of her mother, to find some sanctuary from the pain and struggles of their real lives. Yet, within its atmosphere of beauty and wonder, an underlying danger surfaces. BELLE/Suzu's life becomes entwined with a disruptive presence known as the ‘Dragon’, as she recognises that behind this threatening façade someone pained is crying out for help.
Singer-songwriter Kaho Nakamura will play the protagonist Suzu/Belle. Nakamura also sings in the film.
Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars,The Boy and The Beast, Mirai) directed and scripted the film, and is also credited for the original work. The film marks Studio Chizu's 10th anniversary. Taisei Iwasaki (Blood Blockade Battlefront, Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan, The Naked Director) was the film's music director and composer.
Eric Wong, a London-based architect and designer, created the concept artwork for the film's online world of U. According to Chizu, "Hosoda personally found and commissioned Eric to come up with this universal and international "internet space" from both an architectural and design perspective."
Jin Kim (Frozen, Tangled, Big Hero 6, Moana) designed the titular protagonist Belle. According to Chizu, "Mamoru Hosoda and Jin have long respected each other's work but met for the first time when Mirai was nominated for an Oscar in Los Angeles. There, they promised to one day work on something creatively together and finally realized that goal with BELLE."
Studio Chizu's previously announced that the film would portray an "ever-evolving online world" that takes place in an online world called "U," which has 5 billion registered users. Studio Chizu mentioned Hosoda's past films where virtual words play a key role, such as Digimon Adventure: Children's War Game and Summer Wars, as similar titles of exploring modern society, but based on the director's "recent insights." The studio specifically mentioned themes of "coming of age, family ties, love between parents and children, friendship that transcends species, the links between our lives."