Suzu is a 17-year-old high-school student living in a rural town with her father. Wounded by the loss of her mother at a young age, Suzu one day discovers the massive online world "U" and dives into this alternate reality as her avatar, Belle. Before long, all of U's eyes are fixed on Belle, when, suddenly, a mysterious, dragon-like figure appears before her.

  • Released: 2021-07-16
  • Runtime: 122 minutes
  • Genre: Animation, Drama
  • Stars: Kaho Nakamura, Takeru Satoh, Tina Tamashiro, Shota Sometani, Lilas Ikuta, Ryo Narita, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Kenjiro Tsuda, Mami Koyama, Mamoru Miyano, Sachiyo Nakao, Fuyumi Sakamoto, Ryoko Moriyama, Yoshimi Iwasaki, Michiko Shimizu, Kōji Yakusho, ermhoi, Ken Ishiguro, Sumi Shimamoto, HANA, Mitsuru Miyamoto, Asami Miura, Taichi Masu
  • Director: Mamoru Hosoda
  • markswaring-54935 - 2 January 2024
    Watch the sub, don't bother with the dub
    This is one of my favourite movies from 2021.

    Beautifully animated in both 3D (inside U) & 2D

    You can feel the emotion of the singing it is quite beautiful.

    Unless you watch the dub, The songs are washed with reverb, cheesy lyrics & the dialogue is quite irritating.

    I would give the dub about a 5-6 out of 10

    I admit I generally prefer subs ver dubs as you hear it 'as directed'.

    However the dubs of Demon Slayer, Your Name, Spirited Away are quite excellent & lose little in translation.

    The difference here is this is a musical, the Japanese lead character actor is a musician both singing & Speaking the role.

    My background is in audio engineering & They have murdered the dub.

    Small reverbs & reflections that highlight the voice are fine but the swamping it in a wash of lengthy reverb kills it for me.

    I do realise it is difficult to change the dialogue of a song & have the same vocal impact.

    In this regard it fails hugely.

    Watch the Original with Subs!
  • and-46245 - 7 March 2023
    A feast for the eyes and ears, but a frustration for your mind.
    Fantasticly beautiful visuals and amazing vocal performances in a movie that has a predictable, soppy story with poor moral messages.

    Though I have to say that the things that got me the most is how it doesn't seem to quite understand the virtual environment nor have any kind of logical boundaries to it.

    Not to mention that in a virtual environmnent like this, people would want to CHOOSE what they look like, not be made to look like something.

    But that's nitpicking from me, I suppose.

    Another thing that really got to me is how other artists (without spoiling anyhting for you) are so deeply disrespectful of Belle in a way that I've never, ever seen real life artists be. The moment you act like a spoiled, entitled twirp that disrespects other peoples talent in the industry is the moment you stop having a job. People don't act like this, it's cartoonish. This comes from a movie that wants its emotional, real-world story to be taken seriously and have us accept the weight of the very serious topics it gets into.

    Watch it for the visuals and the performances, but not for the story, the world it's in or the bad, unsatisfying, teenage view of morality.
  • TheVictoriousV - 30 September 2022
    Spell-binding and sweet, with some plotting issues
    Mamoru Hosoda's Belle is a spell-binding, sweet, and visually marvelous reimagination of Beauty and the Beast (specifically the Disney version, which now gets a much better 3D revamp than the one from 2017) as an anime set in virtual reality.

    If you've ever joked that the Beast seemed to be an emo kid deep down, it'll ring even more true here -- complete with an edgy anime avatar. (One of the Channel Awesome critics once spliced all of Beast's rants from Beauty and the Beast: An Enchanted Christmas together with Simple Plan's "Untitled", though I can't remember which one.)

    In terms of films about VR, it isn't quite as poignant or even "spiritual" as HBO's We Met in Virtual Reality, but it touches on similar questions of whether VR avatars, which we can design and move about however we please, have made it possible for us to show our true selves -- provided it's not just wishfulness and delusion; an image of what we "want" to be but aren't really. First and foremost, Belle is a story of love and music, and for the most part, it's a beautiful one (tracks like "Gales of Song", "A Million Miles Away", and "U", both in English and the original Japanese, have been on repeat on my Spotify account). Strangely, though, the story of The Beast winds up feeling like a sidetrack.

    Another complaint I have is that the animation inside the virtual world, which relies more on CGI than the surrounding scenes, occasionally looks stilted. Then again, have you seen VRChat?
  • JayWolfgramm - 31 August 2022
    Another Solid Hit for Mamoru Hosoda
    Suzu is a shy high school girl who has difficulty expressing herself. One day she enters the virtual reality world known as "U". There Suzu finds an avenue to express herself and ends up becoming a pretty big viral star. Meanwhile other high school relationship and family drama ensue.

    Mamoru Hosoda has a consistent track record of good, but not great films. He has yet to make an awful film, he is a safe bet for a 6 ~ 7 out of 10 film. This one falls as my third favorite of his, underneath "Wolf Children" and "Boy and his Beast".

    "Belle" is a beautifully animated movie...for the most part. There is some questionable blend of computer aided effects, but since that is saved for a virtual world the characters use, it works out well enough. I am able to forgive the animation looking more artificial, when in the movie the characters are going into a video game. There are also a couple of long moments where there is no animation at all. Scenes where they will just hold on a still frame for about 40 seconds of runtime. Some could argue artistic intent behind it, but it just comes across as lazy.

    One thing I had to quickly ignore in the movie was the logic behind the "U" universe. In the story, the characters put in these headphones and are transported to their online avatars which are auto generated by the system. The avatars will adapt to whatever condition the real person is in. The way this video game works in this world makes absolutely no sense. We never see what the people in the real world are doing when they are in this virtual reality world. Are the characters actually throwing punches, singing or dancing in the real world, or is all being done telepathically? Eventually I had to just abandon any attempts to make sense of it. In my head cannon their bodies are completely still as their minds get transferred to their avatars, like they're entering the Matrix.

    This movie surprised me. I have seen a lot of retellings of Beauty and the Beast and seen a lot of animated films in general. I know how story beats go and am typically pretty good at figuring out where a story is going. But this film did a good job of subverting my expectations. I won't go into much detail, but there are characters and plot points that I did not see coming. And with all the movies I've seen, I give kudos to movie that is able to genuinely surprise me.

    Is it the most coherent and well put together story? No. But with the characters, creativity and emotion put into this, there certainly is beauty.
  • owenpont-70803 - 9 August 2022
    Beauty And The Beast Anime..................
    I thought this anime film was Beauty & The Beast meets Ready Player One but with a music plot. But despite the strange concept. I thought it was pretty good. I think some of the things in it was a little bit to straightforward and cringey. But I adored the animation. The virtual reality aspect was very cool. The fight scenes were fun and the music wasn't for the most part cringe inducing. The comedy ( for what little there were ) was funny. And the dubbed version was actually pretty good. Not as good as the original but it was still watchable. Overall its an ambitious film that all though as some flaws, its still highly watchable if not for the animation alone.