The special edition Japanese Blu-ray release of Mamoru Hosoda's new anime film, Belle, will include exclusive, never-before-seen footage of the film, as well as other additional extras.
The official website for the movie revealed that an extra four hours of additional content will be spread over two bonus discs included in the special edition release of the film in Japan. Along with the unreleased footage, fans of the film will receive an in-depth look into Belle's creation through extras such as a documentary outlining how the film was made, videos of the voice actors recording their lines for the film, a recording of the press conference confirming that the movie has been completed, cast and crew interviews, special roundtable discussions and promotional tie-in videos. The special edition will also allow the movie to be viewed in Dolby Vision 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos audio, but audiences can also choose to watch the film in regular high definition if they wish. The release will not come with English subtitles, however.
Belle marks the seventh feature film that Mamoru Hosoda (Wolf Children, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) has directed and presents a science-fantasy Beauty and the Beast retelling centering around Suzu Naito, a seventeen-year-old high school girl. Timid and shy, Suzu has felt like an outsider for most of her life until she discovers a massive virtual world called "U" online and becomes a glamorous and world-renowned singer known simply as "Belle." Her star-studded virtual life is soon changed, however, when a monstrous creature on the run from vigilantes crashes one of her concerts, prompting Suzu to embark on a journey to unearth the identity of this enigmatic "beast."
Since its world premiere in July last year, Belle has received praise from critics for its beautiful animation, character development, representation of social media and worldbuilding. The film received a 14-minute-standing ovation when it debuted at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and was the third-highest-grossing movie in Japan in 2021, behind Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time and Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet. Belle is also Hosoda's biggest commercial success in the United States, with the film pulling in an impressive $3 million USD within the first two weeks of its theatrical release in the territory.
Belle was originally intended by Hosoda to be a musical, but the idea was scrapped due to the lack of musicals made in Japan. Hosoda still wanted the film to revolve around music, however, and thus the role of Suzu was given to musician Kaho Nakamura, who was also involved in writing some of the film's songs.
Belle is currently being shown in select theaters.
Source: Belle official website via Anime News Network