Good news for anime fans, and fans of good animated movies in general, because GKids has gained domestic distribution for Mamoru Hosoda’s new film, Belle. The plan is for it to hit theaters in winter. If that’s the case, it could be another Oscars contender just as Hosoda’s previous 2018 film, Mirai.
As part of the announcement, a new trailer for Belle has been released. Directed by Hosoda, the story “follows Suzu, 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 of becoming who they truly are.”
The film will be released stateside in both Japanese language and dubbed in English. A voice cast for the latter has yet to be named.
Joining Hosoda on Belle is a talented group that includes Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart, directors of the recent Oscar-nominated Wolfwalkers. Ludvig Forsell follows up his work on Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding video game by making his feature composing debut, while Disney veteran Jim Kim helped design Belle herself.
Belle has yet to be given a stateside date, but will open in Japan on July 16th.