The title literally translates to ‘The dragon and the freckled princess’, and centers on a seventeen-year-old high school student who enters a virtual metaverse in the form of a beautiful freckled princess.
Girls, grieving high-schoolers and cyber dragons collide in Mamoru Hosoda’s gorgeous anime skunk in Beauty and the Beast.
Thought The Greatest Showman cornered the market on its soaring, punch-the-air anthem of teenage self-actualization? Mamoru Hosoda’s cyber fairy tale is essentially a wall-to-wall banger, all set against a backdrop of virtual worlds that take you through waves of world-building so detailed and epic, they’d make William Gibson’s eyes pop. It’s another masterclass from the Studio Chizu founder: a combination of hand-drawn and CG styles that shape-shift Belle in weird and wonderful directions.
The story follows Suzu (Kaho Nakamura), a Japanese high-schooler in Kochi Prefecture, Japan. As a child he lost his mother in an accident that he still doesn’t fully understand and estranged himself from his stepfather, instead burying his grief in a popular virtual world called ‘You’. There, she’s pink-haired Belle – and thanks to biometric data that creates an online avatar with the inner strength of its users, she’s a superstar pop icon.
He travels to the U on the back of a blue whale with a hundred amps strapped to its back – yes, this film features an actual doof whale – banging out to the crowd. Then a beast appears – the dragon – along and not to spoil it… there’s a castle, a library and a rose involved.
Smartly, Hosoda spins that oh-so-unfamiliar fairy tale into a virtual fable where the beast is one of millions who stand ‘unmasked’ – a bet for Suzu as well that pays off in the film’s soaring climax.
The dragon is designed with oryx horns and a patchwork of bright scars on its back – a hipster beast that even inspires imitators to get similar tattoos. The origins of these injuries become the main mystery of the story as Suzu surfs between the virtual and real worlds in search of the man (or woman) behind the avatar.
Like 2012’s Wolf Children, Belle-Suzu’s quest feels informed by the death of Hosoda’s own mother. That nagging sense of loss bleeds into escapism in a way that will feel comfortingly familiar to lovers of My Neighbor Totoro. And though Hosoda takes his message of inner genius and healing in a radically different direction, he shares with Totoro director Hayao Miyazaki a deep empathy for the young that makes Belle radiate a warm glow.
Belleo is incredibly funny, immersed in gear-shifting ups and downs and bone-dry comic moments that Hosoda edits perfectly to nail the endless awkwardness of the high-school romantic encounter. The supporting characters are also a delight: from Suzu’s zero-bullshit bestie Hiroka (Lilas Ikuta), an acid-tongued hacker genius (is there any other kind?) who drives the story forward; Hens to a beak of music teachers; The only member of the school’s canoeing club is the dorky but sweet Shinjiro.
A naff plot misstep aside (you’ll know it when you see it), the story progresses in kid-friendly fashion, with plenty of visual innovation in every frame for grown-ups. The soundtrack will also be a Spotify favorite for all ages IRL. It’s time to mention Studio Chizu in the same breath as Studio Ghibli, because it’s an absolute feast.
Belle (2021) movie ending explained and themes analyzed: On the surface level, Belle is an anime adaptation of the 1756 French fairy tale Beauty and the Beast by Jean-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. However, dig a little deeper and it’s truly an inspiring story of sadness, trauma and hope through song. Produced by Studio Chizu, Belle enlisted the help of an experienced Disney animator, taking plot cues from the classic 1991 Disney animated version of the story. The screenplay, written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda, has its world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival in July. The title literally translates to ‘The Dragon and the Freckled Princess’, and centers on a seventeen-year-old high school student who enters a virtual metaverse in the form of a beautiful freckled princess.
Belle (2021) Movie Synopsis and Synopsis:
While in the real world, Suzu Naito (voiced by Kaho Nakamura and dubbed in English by Kylie McNeill) lives a depressed life in rural Kochi Prefecture, Japan. Despite a happy upbringing where his musical talent was nurtured by his parents, Suju’s mother sacrificed her life to save a young child from drowning in a flooded river current. From then on, Suzu lives alone, growing up estranged from her father and resentful of her mother’s abandonment. The conflict of grief and anger towards her dead mother creates a void inside Suzu – silencing her once enchanting singing voice.
One day, Suzu’s genius (yet somewhat sensitive) best friend Hiroka Betsuaku (Lilas Ikuta/Jessica DiCicco) suggests she sign up for “U”—a computerized world where your avatar is actually bioengineered into you, only more so. Good “The largest internet society in history with over 5 billion registered users”, opens the film with a slick advertisement for the app, which is linked to the inescapable feeling that the U is nothing more than a dystopian matrix. Although a shell of her old self while in Japan, here, Suzu can confidently perform and thrive behind the mask of her shiny, pink-haired avatar (or “AU”).
Famous as Bell—the English translation of Suzu—has become Yu’s world, he can only focus on the inevitable hateful comments he receives. Still, with Hiroka as a bossy, slightly obsessive manager by his side, Belle becomes a musical sensation, now known as Belle (‘beautiful’ in French). During one of his virtual performances, a violent and brooding AU called “The Dragon” (presumably ‘The Beast’) is chased by a vigilante gang of “Guardians” led by the self-righteous Justin (Toshiyuki Morikawa/Chase Crawford). The Beast manages to escape but catches on to Suzu’s plot, who decides to find out his true identity before Justin (as he has the dangerous ability to reveal AU identities). In The Dragon’s crystal castle, Belle grows close to the shadowy beast, which is covered in tattoo-like scars. Here, Hosoda subtly deploys a red herring that the dragon is actually Suzu’s real-life crush Shinobu Hisata (Rayo Narita/Manny Jacinto), whom she embarrassingly avoids at school.
After being interrogated by Justin, Belle is recalled by The Dragon’s AI and urgently tries to find out her identity. In the end, he finds it’s not Shinobu but Kei (Takeru Satoh/Paul Castro Jr.)—one of two brothers living in an abusive family in Kawasaki, Kanagawa. While he doesn’t believe Belle is really Suzu, he bravely performs as his true, 17-year-old self while inside Yu.
When Kei’s father cuts off Kei’s internet connection, Suzu goes to her hometown and protects her—the authorities are powerless for the first 48 hours. Suzu and Kei thank each other for their courage and guidance, and Suzu returns to her own father with an open heart, letting him know that she has returned to her old, warm self. Now that she has forgiven her mother and rekindled her inner flame, Suzu can sing as herself again – without the princess guise.
BELLE (2021) movie ending explained:
Despite the fourteen-minute standing ovation Bell received at Cannes, the third act was slightly criticized by fans. Belle’s ending follows the archetypal fairy tale ending—the hero saves them and reclaims their lives; Strained relationships are revived, and all loose ends are tied up. That’s good, because it keeps the fairy tale element—the entire premise of the film—constant and intact. However, a few holes were punched in the hasty writing of the final work.
First, how is a schoolgirl able to save Kei from an overbearing, violent father? And what happens after that—what is community service called? The choice to make Suzu the heroine is understandable, but perhaps a more realistic scenario should have been considered. Suzu’s reunion with her father lacks the punch-in-the-gut it could have achieved due to her lack of investment in the plotline. In it, his crush and childhood friend Shinobu are released from guardianship so they can be normal friends with healthy boundaries. Also, Belle’s conclusion to the real world – not the virtual one – leaves the audience on an uplifting note
Is the ‘U’ metaverse good or bad?
The first thing you’ll notice about Bell is the striking visual imagery—especially when U. Hosoda’s shimmering, computerized landscape invites us to step into a gravity-free world, floating with an orchestra of colorful avatars. Animals to Angels; Cartoon animal eyes princess. It almost feels as if you’ve been shrunk and placed inside a computer chip, with all the neon-lit wires curling around the rectangular, upside-down cityscape. Although distinctly Japanese, the visuals recall Christopher Nolan’s aesthetic: the double-over skyscrapers of Inception (2010) and the truly stripped-down 5th dimension of Interstellar (2014).
A strange balance of beauty and caution is created through U’s cyber universe; On the one hand, it’s a buzzing hub for users to interact with, each able to better express themselves while in the body of a biometrically enhanced AU. However, it also feels dystopian, disconnecting people from reality—especially given the plush naturalistic backdrop of Kochi Prefecture—and launching them into a simulated existence, plagued by hateful comments and never quite believing who’s sitting on the other end of the phone. is not able
Despite this contrast of ideas, Belle never completely demonizes his virtual metaverse. U’s negative effects on the characters are not focused on, but simply exist for the audience to decipher on their own. Instead, Belle shows the benefits of U in giving Suzu a place to sing again, gifting her the voice she lost in real life. A montage of haters separate their voices and faces (as in the virtual world, there is no sense of temporal-spatial restrictions; everyone is everywhere and they can all shout their opinions at once, good or bad) layer over one another, slathered across the screen in a mixture of insults and enthusiasm. . At first, Suzu is only able to see negativity. Only when Hiroka points it out as an inevitable byproduct of fame (usually stemming from jealousy) is Suzu able to accept her fame.
Despite its dystopian connotations, Bell’s melodious voice permeates many of U’s scenes, bringing with it a dual sense of melancholy and hope. It’s as if his notes are suspended in the air around him, as the virtual world oscillates in intervals like a dance from gravity. The dragon’s palace is dark, yet alluring, and even the real world is imbued with a kind of beauty. But apart from its cinematography, what else lies beneath the surface of this classic fairy tale?
Belle (2021) Movie Theme Explained:
Beauty and the Beast:
Although the premise of Belle follows the template of Beauty and the Beast, there is more to it than that. The double layer of U (where Belle is the beauty and The Dragon the hunted beast) and reality (where Suzu is a shy, insecure schoolgirl and Kei is a bullied teenager) further complicate the already beauty/beast narrative. Belle follows multiple story strands: Suzu’s lost voice, rediscovered in U; his complicated relationship with fame; Suzu and Hiroka’s search for the dragon’s identity; Belle’s bond with The Beast; Suzu’s crush on Shinobu back home; her matchmaking of the popular girl with the sporty classmate; Kei’s painful home life, interrupted by Suzu; And Sujur is growing distant from her father. But what is the story?
At its core, Belle isn’t all that interested in a romance between the Beast and Belle. Indeed, it is Suzu’s anger towards her mother that is at the heart of Hosoda’s allegorical story. From the beginning of the film, Hosoda sees Suzu’s loss of voice, confidence, and social life after her mother’s death. Moreover, the fact that she risked death for a stranger’s child rather than her own. This resentment carries over completely into Belle, and it is only when Suzu is forced to sing herself to save Kay that she realizes that her voice was still buried there. After that, he can rejoin the choir made up of his mother’s friends and embrace his relationship with his father again. Basically, Belle is a story of forgiveness; To let go of sadness and anger and embrace yourself as you truly are. After that, the rest will fall into place naturally.
What was the point of Belle?
Produced by Hosoda’s Studio Chizu, this lush, spectacularly animated vision argues for the life-changing bonds that can develop when people shed their digital defenses. Belle takes place in a near-future where a virtual-reality platform called U dominates the global consciousness.
During one of Belle’s virtual concerts, the stadium is crashed by a horned, menacing creature known as the Dragon (Takeru Satoh), who comes straight from the dark id of anime monsterdom.
What is the movie Belle about 2022?
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.
Who is Suzus love interest in Belle?
Image result for belle explained
While the two care deeply about each other, Suzu does not manage to confess her feelings for him, despite repeatedly trying to gain the courage to do so, even willing to give him up for Luka to have.
Is Shinobu the Dragon in Belle?
At The Dragon’s crystallized castle, Belle grows closer to the shadowy beast, who is covered in tattoo-like bruises. Here, Hosoda subtly employs a red herring that The Dragon is really Suzu’s real-life crush Shinobu Hisatake (Ryō Narita/Manny Jacinto), who she embarrassingly avoids at school.
How old is Belle in the anime?
Suzu Naito, also known as Bell then Belle, is the titular main protagonist of Japanese 2021 anime movie Belle. She is a 17-year old high school girl, who lives in the countryside of Kochi Prefecture with her father, after losing her mother at a young age.
What happens to kei in Belle?
Suzu is able to find the Dragon’s identity, Kei, after hearing his younger brother sing the song that should be known only by her and the Dragon, amidst all the livestreams playing on Hiro-chan’s monitor. From the live video, it is revealed that Kei and his brother are being abused by their father.
Is Belle anime kid friendly?
Slow, plot holes, inappropriate for young kids.
Themes not appropriate for younger audiences, including on-screen child abuse, age-inappropriate romantic relationships, and serious psychological trauma due to a parent’s death.