Director Mamoru Hosoda is preparing to premiere BELLE, a film exploring virtual reality, music, and love. The upcoming film is already proving to be eyecatching, just from the visuals alone. But we’ve been following the production, and there are a few reasons in particular we’re enthralled with the upcoming title.
So besides the fact that it’s beautiful, and has pretty music, and hails from a celebrated director… here’s why we’re keeping an eye on BELLE. How about you?
A Story of Connections
BELLE is beautifully timed, considering what we’re coming out of. The story takes place partly in U, a virtual world connecting billions of people around the globe. In that world, you can be someone else entirely — as our heroine, Suzu, does. Despite living in a small town, she exists in U as the film’s title singing star, beloved by all.
While there’s a lot of bad that can happen in a virtual space, it doesn’t outweigh the connections it gives us. Those connections have kept us going through the last year and a bit, and even before then. Seeing that unity explored with a fantasy spin really resonates right about now.
A Global Design Team
If Suzu’s “Belle” avatar looks familiar at all, it’s for good reason. Her style has a modern Disney flair — and that’s because her designer is a Disney veteran! Jin Kim has worked on films like Frozen, Moana, and Big Hero 6. That iconic style not only makes for a beautiful character, but also lends a fairy tale feel to the film. The original designs for the virtual idol really hammer that home.
Plus, the virtual world of U comes from another overseas talent: London-based designer Eric Wong. And last but not least, Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon will be rendering their services as well. In order words, this is truly a global production.
The Voice of the Fans
One of the coolest bits of news about BELLE recently was that fans had a chance at having a voice in it! An online call for singers asked people around the world to lend their voices to a simple melody. Those vocals — the ones chosen, at least — would become part of a major scene later in the film. Obviously we don’t have too many details because spoilers, but we know it would be fans singing out to Belle.
Everything about this film — the story, setting, and production — drive home a sense of global unity. People are working together all over the world to make a uniquely beautiful piece of art. And we can’t wait to see it. Nor will we have to wait long: it makes its premiere at Cannes this summer.