Mamoru Hosoda’s upcoming film, Belle (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime, meaning The Dragon and the Freckled Princess in Japanese), is set to premiere on July 16 in Japan. The release date was revealed in a new, brief trailer.
The July release window for Japan was first revealed in a full-length trailer in April. An English-translated version of that trailer stated that the movie will be coming soon.
The announcement of Belle‘s Japanese release date comes after two recent waves of cast announcements this month. The first of the cast to be announced were Ryo Narita, Shōta Sometani, Tina Tamashiro, and Rira Ikuta as the classmates of protagonist Belle/Suzu. The second group of revealed cast members include Toshiyuki Morikawa, Kenjiro Tsuda, Mami Koyama, and Mamoru Miyano.
The movie’s staff includes Frozen character designer Jin Kim, British architect and designer Eric Wong, and Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart from Irish studio Cartoon Saloon, which produced the Oscar-nominated Song of the Sea, The Secret of the Kells, and Wolfwalkers. Studio Chizu is handling the animation production.
The Studio Chizu website describes the story as:
Our protagonist, Suzu, is a 17-year old high school girl, who lives in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture with her father, after losing her mother at a young age.
She loves singing with her mother more than anything else, but as a result of her mother’s death was no longer able to sing.
It wasn’t long before she and her father grew more and more distant from each other, and Suzu closed her heart to the rest of the world.
When Suzu felt that writing music was her only purpose left in life, she then discovers the massive online space known as “U,” where she takes on her persona, Belle.
We are no longer limited to a single world.
Suzu quickly realizes that when she is inside “U” as her avatar, Belle, she can sing quite naturally. As she continues to showcase her own music in the virtual world, she fast becomes the rising star of “U.”
Nonetheless, that surprise is short-lived. Suddenly, a mysterious dragon-shaped creature appears before her…
Sources: Studio Chizu JP Twitter, Anime News Network