Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle Releases Anime Film’s Dubbed Opening Scene

GKIDS released new clips showcasing Belle's English dub.

The anime distributor has released two new clips from Mamoru Hosoda's latest animated film, the Beauty and the Beast-inspired Belle. The first clip is the opening scene of the movie, which introduces the virtual social network of U and the film's titular diva, Belle, a singer with an online following numbering in the billions. The second clip introduces the girl behind Belle's online persona, the shy and timid Suzu. Both clips are dubbed in English, and star newcomer Kylie McNeill as both versions of the film's protagonist. The English dub also features Gossip Girl's Chace Crawford as Justin, The Good Place's Manny Jacinto as Shinobu and Euphoria's Hunter Schafer as Ruka. The movie will premiere in special IMAX preview showings on Jan. 12 and will be screened in other theaters on Jan. 14.

Belle made its international premiere in the fall of 2021 at the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie received a 14 minute standing ovation. The movie is the latest work by Hosoda, whose previous film, 2018's Mirai, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film. Hosoda has been frequently compared to Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki, and has directed a number of similarly critically lauded animated movies, including 2006's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and 2009's Summer Wars. Hosoda began his career in the 1990s at Toei Animation, where he worked on the Digimon and One Piece franchises.

Belle sees Hosoda revisiting many of the technology-focused themes he explored in Digimon and Summer Wars. The movie centers on Suzu Naito, a teenage girl in a rural Japanese town who dreams of becoming a famous singer, but is held back by her shyness and trauma over her mother's death. While Suzu struggles with expressing herself in person, in the virtual online world of U, she adopts the persona of Belle, a confident and commanding performer who is famous worldwide.

The movie was released in Japanese theaters earlier this year under the title Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime (literally translated as "The Dragon and the Princess of Freckles.") The film was extremely well received by Japanese audiences and critics alike, and went on to become the third highest grossing film in Japan for 2021, placing just behind the latest entries in the long-running and popular Neon Genesis Evangelion and Detective Conan (Case Closed) franchises.

Source: YouTube (1, 2)

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