From celebrated Oscar®-nominated director Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu, creator of MIRAI, WOLF CHILDREN, SUMMER WARS, and more, comes a fantastical, yet beautiful and contemporary thematic story of one girl’s growth in the age of social media.
Suzu is 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 to become who they truly are.
The comparisons to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST are apparent, if not obvious, as Hosoda pays homage to the Disney classic. But the filmmaker adds his own wrinkles to the well-worn tale, transporting the fable into the modern age of alternate realities and the cyberpunk dreams of a Neo-Japan that we already inhabit and experience (TikTok, Pokemon Go, and MineCraft are just tips of the iceberg). Hosoda infuses this classic story with his own themes that were explored in previous films like SUMMER WARS, into a metaphor for family, identity and trauma. With eye-popping, masterful animation, BELLE is ideally meant to be experienced in a very old school way-on the big screen!