The acclaimed director, Mamoru Hosoda, who’s known for his animated films like “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” “The Boy and the Beast,” and “Mirai” is set to premiere another film titled “Belle.”

A snapshot of ‘Belle’ (photo from

Slated for theatrical release in Japan on July 26, 2021, “Belle” centers on Suzu, a 17-year-old high school girl who lost her mother in an accident when she was just a child. One day, she came across the virtual world of “U” and decides to become part of it as an avatar named Belle. She swiftly attracts worldwide attention as a singing star for her passionate performances. In a random encounter, she runs into a mysterious beast with whom she embarks on adventures.

Mamoru Hosoda and Yuichiro Saito (photo from

Hosoda, together with Studio Chizu co-founder, Yuichiro Saito, worked in collaboration with a roster of international talents—among these was Jin Kim, the character designer behind “Moana,” “Tangled,” and “Frozen.” In addition, Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar-nominated Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart contributed artwork for the various virtual fantasy worlds that is seen within the film.

UT design, the world of “U”
UT design, the mysterious beast avatar

In related news, UNIQLO announced that a collection inspired by Mamoru Hosoda’s animation work will be released on Aug. 30, 2021. The collaboration with the Japanese film director features three designs that commemorate “Belle”. These include rare concept art from the production, such as one that features the virtual world of “U,” while another present a mysterious beast avatar.

Source: Manila Bulletin (