Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle To Premiere At Cannes Festival

Image source: Cannes Festival 2021 website

Mamoru Hosoda’s upcoming movie Belle will premiere at the 74th Cannes Festival, which runs from July 6 to July 17.

The anime movie, which is titled Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime (The Dragon and the Freckled Princess) in Japanese, will be screened in the Cannes Premiere section. In 2018, Hosoda’s Mirai was screened as part of the festival’s Directors’ Fortnight sidebar.

Belle is set to release in Japan on July 16, with an international release “coming soon.” It was announced in December 2020

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 SeaThe Secret of the Kells, and Wolfwalkers. Studio Chizu is handling the animation production.

Other staff include illustrator Kageichi Akiya as the designer of the dragon, Takaaki Yamashita (Mirai screen designer) as the CG animation director in regards to the virtual world of U, Hiroyuki Aoyama (Mirai animation director) as the character designer and the real world’s animation director, Nobutaka Ike (Princess Principal) as art director, Anri Jōjō (Mirai production designer) as art designer, and Ryō Horibe (Mirai) and Digital Frontier’s Yohei Shimozawa (Doraemon: Nobita’s Treasure Island) as CG directors.

Meanwhile, the cast includes Kaho Nakamura as Suzu/Belle Ryō Narita as Shinobu Hisatake/Shinobu-kun, Shōta Sometani as Shinjirō Chikami/Kamishin, Tina Tamashiro as Ruka Watanabe/Ruka-chan, Rira Ikuta as Hiroka Betsuyaku/Hiro-chan, Toshiyuki Morikawa as Justin, Kenjiro Tsuda as Jelinek, Mami Koyama as Swan, and Mamoru Miyano as Tarō Hitokawamui and Maru Guttokorae.

Other announced cast members include Ryōko Moriyama as Yoshitani-san, Michiko Shimizu as Kita-san, Fuyumi Sakamoto as Okumoto-san, Yoshimi Iwasaki as Nakai-san, and Sachiyo Nakao as Hatanaka-san.

Studio Chizu 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 mothers death was no longer able to sing.

It wasnt 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.

Another me.
Another reality.
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

Uniqlo recently announced the “Mamoru Hosoda Animation Works UT” collaboration T Shirt line that includes designs for Belle and previous Hosoda works like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, and The Boy and the Beast.

Sources: Cannes Festival 2021 website, Deadline

Melvyn originally wanted to write about video games, and he did so for a few years, starting from his college days. He still writes about video games sometimes, but now focuses on anime-related news content and the occasional review. Some of his free time is spent self-learning Japanese, both out of interest in the language and because English-translated light novels and manga are expensive. Every anime season, Melvyn looks forward to discovering new standout episodes and OP/ED animation sequences, as well as learning about the storyboard artists and directors behind them.
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