Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle will be heading to American theaters next year, and in celebration of the news, two brand new teasers have been released for the film.
GKIDS announced on Tuesday that the official release date for the highly anticipated film will be on January 14, 2022. The film is already out in Japan, and has been making the rounds at various film festivals all year in the hopes of garnering multiple award nominations. Belle will be released in both its original Japanese language and a new English-dubbed version next year.
The highly anticipated anime film is the ninth project for Hosoda following his 2018 Oscar-nominated film Mirai. Belle has been described as a touching, coming-of-age story that’s told in a fantasy-filled visual style. The film follows 17-year-old Suzu, a student living in a rural village with her father. After one day entering “U,” a virtual world for 5 billion members on the internet, she meets a world-famous singer and embarks on a variety of adventures with her.
The film is packed to the brim with talent from all across the world, including Jin Kim, a character designer who has worked on classic Disney films like Frozen and Moana, and Eric Wong, a British architect who helped create the world of “U” in the film.
Belle: Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime is written and directed by Hosoda. The film’s crew also includes character designer Jin Kim (Frozen, Moana, Big Hero 6), as well as directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart of Cartoon Saloon (Wolfwalkers). It will be produced by Studio Chizu.
Similar to some of Hosoda’s previous works, like Summer Wars or Digimon, it will explore humanity’s relationship with a virtual world. Studio Chizu says it is “…a tale of hope and courage that will be an inspiration for everyone around the world.”