Studio Chizu has just released the full international trailer for BELLE (in Japanese: 『竜とそばかすの姫』ryū to sobakasu no hime, which means "the dragon and the freckled princess"), the highly-anticipated animated feature film by Mamoru Hosoda. Following the Academy Award-winning film Mirai, BELLE is the director's ninth project and will be released in Japan on July 16th by Toho. The film also commemorates the 10th anniversary of Studio Chizu.

© Studio Chizu

According to the press release, 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).

The heroine Belle is designed by Jin Kim, who previously worked on several iconic Disney movies like Frozen and Moana, while British architect and designer Eric Wong gave life to Hosoda's design, creating the advanced virtual world of "U". Moreover, 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 contributed to the fantasy scenes set in the virtual world. Hosoda's long-standing collaborator, Yuchirio Saito, president of Studio Chizu, produced the film.

Jin Kim's design for Belle. | © Studio Chizu

The story centers on a 17-year-old high school girl named Suzu, who lives with her father in a small town. Having lost her mother when she was young, she had a difficult childhood. One day, Suzu discovers “U,” a massive online virtual world, and creates her own avatar called Belle. Even though she cannot sing in real life, she becomes a world-famous singer in U. However, on the day of her concert, a mysterious dragon-like figure barges in and ruins the show. 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. As the Dragon faces persecution both online and off, her resolve to learn his identity and heal his aching heart only grows. Will her voice reach this unknown individual in a world of billions?

BELLE by Mamoru Hosoda - Exclusive new trailer from Charades on Vimeo.

Discover the new exclusive trailer of BELLE, Academy Award Nominee Mamoru Hosoda's latest creation.

© 2021 Studio Chizu

About the Director

Mamoru Hosoda was born in Toyama Prefecture in 1967. From Toyama Prefecture. He joined Toei Douga (now known as Toei Animation) as an animator in 1991 before his directorial debut on the Dijimon: The Movie "Digimon Adventure: Children's War Game!" in 2000. He then worked as a freelance director on the film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in 2006 and Summar Wars in 2009, both of which gained awareness domestically in Japan as well as abroad.

With producer Yuichiro Saito in 2011, he co-established Studio Chizu and went on to direct Wolf Children in 2012 and The Boy and the Beast in 2015, films he not only wrote the screenplay for, but also the stories in which they were based. Hosoda’s most recent film, Mirai, in which he worked as director, screenwriter, and author of the original story, was screened during the Directors’ Fortnight of the 71st Cannes Film Festival, nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 91st Academy Awards and Best Motion Picture-Animated at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, and also won Best Animated Feature-Independent at the 46th Annie Awards.

About Studio Chizu

Established in 2011, Studio Chizu is an animation company that served as Mamoru Hosoda’s headquarters during the production of Wolf Children. The name itself comes from the Japanese word for “map." The main characters in Hosoda’s films possess a vitality and life force as they choose and cultivate their future based on their own free will.

Title: BELLE (Japanese:『竜とそばかすの姫』Ryū to sobakasu no hime)
Twitter: @StudioChizu
Scheduled Release: July 16th, 2021, Japan
Director / Screenwriter / Original Story: Mamoru Hosoda
Development & Production: Studio Chizu
Partners / Co-Executive Producers: Studio Chizu LLP
Nippon Television Network Corporation
Copyright © 2021 Studio Chizu

By - grape Japan editorial staff.