BELLE, Full International for the Highly Anticipated Animated Feature by Mamoru Hosoda

June 2, 2021

Los Angeles, California - June 2, 2021  – Studio Chizu drops the full international trailer for BELLE, the highly anticipated animated feature by Mamoru Hosoda. BELLE will be released in Japan on July 16th by Toho.

BELLE is 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 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).

BELLE rounded up a top-notch crew if international talents, the first of its kind in the history of Japanese animation. Character designer Jin Kiim, 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", gave their contribution for fanstasy scenes set in the virtual world.

BELLE is produced by Hosoda's long standing collaborator, Yuchirio Saito, president of Studio Chizu, the director's animation banner.


Suzu, a 17-year-old schoolgirl, lives with her father in a village surrounded by nature in Kochi prefecture after her mother died in an accident when she was a little girl. Suzu used to love singing with her mother more than anything else, but after her death, she has not been able to sing.

Writing songs is the only thing that gives Suzu any comfort until one day she is invited by her best friend to enter a virtual community in the Internet called U with over 5 billion members worldwide. In U, she can live another life as an AS, which is what avatars are called there. Although Suzu can’t sing in real life, singing comes natural to her in U as an AS known as Belle. Belle quickly captures the attention of U’s citizens with her songs and becomes a worldwide superstar diva.

The day of Belle’s huge concert viewed by millions of AS around the world— A mysterious presence known as the Dragon suddenly bursts into the concert hall. Her concert is ruined by the violent, arrogant Dragon. Belle, who wants to know why the Dragon suffers so much pain, approaches him. Dragon, on the other hand, slowly opens his heart to Belle’s gentle singing voice.

Soon, the search for the Dragon’s identity (unveiling) starts around the world.

A group of AS who claim to be the protectors of justice start their relentless pursuit of the Dragon who they believe disrupts order in U. The Dragon becomes the target of trolling and abuse both in U and the real world. The more people persecute him in both worlds, the more Belle feels stronger to find him and heal his heart.

Will Suzu’s voice from a remote corner in the real world reach this single, unknown individual in a world of billions? A miracle occurs when the two worlds merge into one.

Another reality. Another you. You’re not alone anymore.

About the Director, Mamoru Hosoda

Born in 1967. From Toyama Prefecture. In 1991, he joined Toei Doga (Now Toei Animation) where he was an animator before becoming a director. In 1999, he directed his first film for theater release, Digimon: The Movie "Digimon Adventure: Children's War Game!" (2000). He thereafter turned freelance and directed The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) and Summer Wars (2009), garnering attention both domestic and abroad.

In 2011, he co-established animation studio Studio Chizu with producer Yuichiro Saito. Hosoda went on to direct Wolf Children (2012) and The Boy and the Beast (2015) for which he also wrote the screenplay and the stories they were based on. His latest, Mirai (director, screenwriter, author of original story) was screened during the Directors’ Fortnight of the 71st Cannes Film Festival, and in the U.S., it was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 91st Academy Awards and Best Motion Picture-Animated at the 76th Golden Globes and won Best Animated Feature-Independent at the 46th Annie Awards.

About Studio Chizu

Studio Chizu is Director Mamoru Hosoda's headquarters that was established during the production of Wolf Children. Director Hosoda gave the studio its name, Chizu ("map" in Japanese). The main characters in Hosoda’s films possess a vitality and life force for choosing and cultivating a future of one's own free will.

Director Hosoda's philosophy of movies is that "they should serve the public like a park where many people gather.” Studio Chizu is a place that embraces Director Hosoda's thoughts and philosophies on movies and his works. Studio Chizu is most known for its feature-length animated films, “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “Summer Wars,” and “Wolf Children.”

Twitter: @StudioChizu 

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