Hosoda’s Belle rings in May

As Facebook pushes the entire Metauniverse with their virtual reality technology, Belle seems a perfect film for our times. The animated movie has a schoolgirl find herself transformed into a pop star inside a computer environment. Her new cyber identity gets her so much more popular than her reality. Can this last for long? Belle was directed by Mamoru Hosoda, who was Oscar nominated for Mirai. Belle comes out on digital platforms and home video in May. Here’s the press release from Shout! Factory and GKIDS:

“MIND BLOWING! A world unlike anything we have seen!” – Rafael Motomayor, The Observer
Critically-Acclaimed Animated Masterpiece from Academy Award®-Nominated Director Mamoru Hosoda

Available on Digital Platforms May 3, 2022 and on Blu-Ray May 17 , 2022

From the celebrated Academy Award®-nominated director Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu, creators of Mirai, Wolf Children, and Summer Wars, comes BELLE, a fantastical, heartfelt story of growing up in the age of social media. Lauded by critics around the globe following its premiere at the 74th Annual Cannes Film Festival and nominated for five Annie Awards including Best Independent Feature, this stunningly animated film is a breathtaking adaptation of a tale as old as time.

BELLE will be available on all major digital platforms on May 3, 2022, as a Blu-ray™ + DVD combo pack May 17, 2022, and a Target©-exclusive Steelbook edition May 17, 2022 from GKIDS with distribution by Shout! Factory. The Blu-ray + DVD and Steelbook editions also include a number of bonus features, including a conversation with director Mamoru Hosoda, the featurettes The Making of BELLE, The Music of BELLE, Finding the Voice of Belle, Hosoda Draws BELLE, Scene Breakdowns, and more!

Digital versions of the film will be available both in the original Japanese and as an English dub, and the Blu-ray + DVD combo pack and Steelbook editions will contain both Japanese and English versions. BELLE boasts a star-studded English voice cast including Chace Crawford, Manny Jacinto, Kylie McNeill, and Hunter Schafer. Fans of this heartfelt fable for a digital age can pre-order copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com and GKIDS.com/store.
On BELLE, the Japanese creative team worked in collaboration with a roster of international talents. Character designer Jin Kim, the artist behind several iconic Disney features including Moana, Tangled, and Frozen, designed the titular Belle. Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar®-nominated Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart (Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells) also join the team, contributing artwork for the various virtual fantasy worlds within the film. Hosoda continues his film collaborations with architects, and is joined by up-and-coming British architect and designer Eric Wong, who designed the virtual world of “U.” Taisei Iwasaki (“Blood Blockade Battlefront.,” Studio Ghibli’s “Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo) along with composing original songs and score, led multiple composers and produced the film’s music entirely. Other composers include the critically acclaimed Yuta Bandoh (“Yuri on Ice”) and BAFTA nominee Ludvig Forrsell (Kojima Productions’ “Death Stranding”). The film’s main theme “U” was performed by groundbreaking Japanese act millennium parade, led by the composer of the song Daiki Tsuneta. Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U”, a massive virtual world, she escapes into the online persona of Belle, a gorgeous and globally-beloved singer. One day, her concert is interrupted by a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an emotional and epic quest to uncover the identity of this mysterious “beast” and to discover her true self in a world where you can be anyone.

BELLE Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Bonus Features
The Making of BELLE*
A Conversation with Director Mamoru Hosoda
The Music of BELLE
Hosoda Draws BELLE
Scene Breakdowns
Finding the Voice of Belle
Mamoru Hosoda at Animation is Film
Design Gallery*
Kylie McNeill Performs “Gales of Song”*
*Only available on the Blu-ray disc 

GKIDS is the producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021. GKIDS handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited AwayMy Neighbor TotoroPrincess Mononoke and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Also, GKIDS is the founder and host of ANIMATION IS FILM, the annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions. www.gkids.com

About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a leading multi-platform media company devoted to film and TV distribution, development, and production, as well as the preservation and revitalization of the very best in pop-culture entertainment. Founded by Richard Foos, Bob Emmer, and Garson Foos in 2003, Shout! owns and manages a large portfolio of films, contemporary and classic TV series, animation, and documentaries. The company’s creative acquisition mandate has established it as a leading independent distributor, with partners and properties including GKIDS, Sesame StreetThe Carol Burnett Show, The Johnny Carson Show, IFC Films, Stephen J. Cannell Productions, ITV Studios, Major League Baseball Productions, and many others. Shout! Factory Kids focuses on live-action and animated kids and family properties, and the company releases films and television shows in other genres under the Scream Factory and Shout Select imprints. Shout! develops, acquires and distributes new films via Shout! Studios, owns and operates libraries including Mystery Science Theater 3000 (in partnership with creator Joel Hodgson) and the Roger Corman New Horizon Pictures Library, and operates the acclaimed streaming service Shout! Factory TV. Shout! Factory is based in Los Angeles, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com.

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