Belle, the latest Summer Wars and Mirai film from director Mamoru Hosoda, will hit US theaters early next year, with permission from GKIDS.
The highly anticipated film debuted at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it received a 14-minute standing ovation from festival audiences. Belle is director Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film, whose previous film, 2018’s Mirai, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. In addition to Mirai, Hosoda has directed several other critically acclaimed animated films, including 2006’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and 2009 Summer Wars. In addition to announcing a final release date, GKIDS also released a new trailer for the movie.
Prior to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Hosoda was best known for his work at Toei Animation, where the director worked on both the Digimon and One Piece franchises. Hosoda directed 2000’s Digimon: The Movie, as well as the sixth film in the One Piece franchise, Baron Omatsuri, and Secret Island. Hosoda also directed Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle, but left the project due to creative differences with studio heads. Hayao Miyazaki eventually took on the job of directing the film after Hosoda left. After leaving Toei and Ghibli, Hosoda became part of the Death Notestudio Madhouse for a time, before founding his own production company, Studio Chizu, which produced the final four films.
Belle revisits many of the themes Hosoda explored in Digimon and Summer Wars and tells the story of Suzu Naito, a young girl who dreams of becoming a singer, but is held back by her shyness and stage fright. While Suzu couldn’t sing in front of others in the real world, in U’s virtual social network, Suzu used the personality of Belle, a globally famous diva who can confidently perform in front of billions of people. After Suzu retreats deeper into her online self, she encounters a mysterious dragon-like beast, and the two are thrust together on a journey that brings Suzu’s real world and her online self. her together in unexpected ways.
Belle was previously released in Japanese theaters on July 16 with the title Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime (literally “The Dragon and the Princess of Freckles.”) The film was both critical and successful. commercial in Japan, and is currently the third highest-grossing film of the year in the region, behind only Evangelion 3.0 +1.0 Thrice Upon A Time and the latest Detective Conan film.