Studio Chizu has dropped a new video for their upcoming film “BELLE” — also known as “Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime” in Japanese, coming out this July 2021. The film project will be a celebration of the studio’s 10th Anniversary, and is Mamoru Hosoda’s first feature-length animation in three years since the Oscar-nominated “Mirai of the Future” in 2018.
Director Hosoda will be collaborating with Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Jin Kim, known for projects such as “Frozen,” “Tangled,” “Big Hero 6,” and “Moana”. Jin did the character designs for the eponymous Belle — a virtual songstress.
Meanwhile, the concept illustration of the massive online world of “U” was created by London-based architect-designer Eric Wong. “BELLE” is Hosoda’s third movie set in a virtual world, following “Summer Wars” in 2009 and “Digimon Adventure / Our War Game!” in 2000.
“BELLE” follows the story of Suzu — who lost her mother at a young age, and is unable to sing in person from the severe trauma. However, in the virtual world of “U”, she lets go as the virtual songstress Belle — becoming a chart-topping sensation unafraid to sing her true emotions.