From Dune to Spider-Man:No Way Home, 2021 had provided a bundle of spectacular movies. Now moving forward to 2022, it’s time for new stories to shine on the big screen, such as the english dubbed version of the newly anime film, Belle.
(WARNING! THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SOME PLOT DETAILS FROM THE FILM; SPOILER ALERT IS NOW ADVISED BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER!)
Belle is a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, with a musical/social-media worldbuilding in the mix. This story revolves around Suzu, a teenage girl who lost her passion for music after losing her mother when she was a child. She would soon regain her music passion as her online avatar, Bell, in the virtual world of U, an online social media network that allows people’s desired avatars to journey through virtual reality living lives similar to our own world, but more fantastical and fast-paced. Along the way, a mysterious figure known as The Dragon has been causing trouble and strife. While everyone sees him as a monster seeking attention, Bell/Suzu sees a person in pain. As both Beauty and Beast get closer, they come to learn from one another. Giving each other strength they didn’t know they had, and through the power of music they heals each other’s pain both outer and inner.
This film gave a compelling retelling of a longtime fable while cleverly interweaving relevant themes such as grief, rediscovered passions, teen angst, internet behaviorism, and love.
Mamoru Hosoda, director of Wolf Children, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, etc. has created a beautiful film with stunning fantastical visuals, enchantingly fun and heartfelt music, and stellar voice casting.
English voice actors; Kylie McNeill, Chace Crawford, Paul Castro Jr., Manny Jacinto, Hunter Schafer, Brandon Engman, and the rest of the cast had done exceptionally well in dubbing the english version of the film.
Belle is now playing in theaters nationwide and the English Version soundtrack is now available on iTunes!