Mamoru Hosuda’s upcoming movie Belle (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime, or “The Princess of Dragons and Freckles”) has released a teaser trailer and poster on Thursday. They were posted by the animation studio Studio Chizu, and will mark the tenth anniversary of Hosuda’s studio.
The movie is slated for a summer 2021 release. Hosuda, who is an Academy Award-nominated director and has worked on anime movies like MIRAI, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, is both directing and writing the script for the movie.
The film will be released by TOHO and produced by Yuichiro Sato, who is the president of Studio Chizu.
Charades, which is a Paris-based sales company, has collaborated with Hosuda and Studio Chizu for the film. They had previously worked together for MIRAI, which received both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. Charades will be in charge of the movie’s sales both in the international markets and in the virtual European Film Market.
Belle depicts an “ever-evolving online world”, according to Studio Chizu. An online world called “U”, which has more than 5 billion users around the world, is the setting. The protagonist is a teenage girl, 17-year-old Suzu, who lives between modern-day Japan and this online world. She creates an avatar named Belle for this world, and Belle meets a dragon-shaped mysterious creature.
Here’s what Hosuda had to say about Belle: “’Belle’ is the movie that I have always wanted to create and I am only able to make this film a reality because of the culmination of my past works,” he said, “I explore romance, action and suspense on the one hand, and deeper themes such as life and death on the other. I expect this to be a big entertainment spectacle.”
Studio Chizu’s previous press release spoke about the movie having themes of “coming of age, family ties, love between parents and children, a friendship that transcends species, the links between our lives.”