The first three minutes of Belle, the latest film from Summer Wars director Mamoru Hosoda, are now available for viewing online.
The colorful new clip introduces the online world of U, where Belle's protagonist Suzu retreats to in order to escape her problems in reality. The clip will only be available for 48 hours following its initial upload to Youtube, on July 9. Belle is the latest film from acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda, who may be best known to Western audiences for his work on the Digimon franchise, or as the director of the Academy Award-nominated Mirai. It was recently announced that Belle would make its debut at the Cannes Film Festival.
Belle tells the story of Suzu Naito, a young girl who dreams of being a singer, but is held back by her own shyness and the recent trauma of her mother passing away. While Suzu can't bring herself to sing in front of others in reality, in the virtual social network of U, Suzu adopts the alter-ego of Belle, a confident popstar who has no reservations about performing online in front of an audience of billions. After Suzu retreats further into her online persona, she meets a mysterious dragon-like creature, and the two embark on a journey that brings Suzu's real world and her second life online together in unexpected ways.
Belle will be released in Japanese theaters on July 16 under the title Ryu to Sobakasu no Hime (literally translated "The Dragon and the Princess of Freckles.") Anime distributor GKIDS has licensed the movie in North America, and has already announced plans to give it a theatrical release sometime during the next winter.