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Mamoru Hosoda’s ‘Belle’ Hits Theaters January 14

Produced by Japan’s Studio Chizu, the Annie-nominated animated feature tells the heartfelt story of a shy high school student growing up in the age of Social Media; GKIDS is releasing the film in cinemas next week, with IMAX previews beginning January 12.

GKIDS is bringing the Annie-nominated animated feature Belle to U.S. theaters starting January 14, 2022. From Japan’s Studio Chizu, the original story is written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda, whose previous films include Mirai, The Boy and the Beast, Wolf Children, Summer Wars, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Serving as producer is Hosoda’s long time producing partner and Studio Chizu co-founder Yuichiro Saito.

Belle opens theatrically and on IMAX screens in both its original Japanese language and all new English dubbed version on January 14, 2022, with exclusive IMAX previews in select markets beginning January 12, 2022. Tickets are on sale now at

A heartfelt story of growing up in the age of social media, the film tells the story of Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U,” a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a gorgeous and globally beloved singer.

One day, her concert is interrupted by a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an epic emotional quest to uncover the identity of this mysterious “beast” and to discover her true self in a world where you can be anyone.

The Japanese creative team worked in collaboration with a roster of international talents including character designer Jin Kim (Moana, Tangled, Frozen); Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar-nominated Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart (Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea, The Secret of Kells); up-and-coming British architect and designer Eric Wong, who designed the virtual world of “U;” and composer Luvdig Forssell (Death Stranding, Metal Gear Solid V).

Source: GKIDS

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.