After much critical acclaim — both at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and the Japanese box office — Belle is finally coming to Blu-ray and DVD this Spring. Fans got to enjoy the film in theaters back in January, but those who missed out can catch up on the mesmerizing tale.
Studio Chizu along with director Mamoru Hosada — best known for Mirai and The Boy and the Beast — took inspiration from classic Disney films with their modern sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast. While musicals may be commonplace in Western animations, they’re an anomaly in anime.
Because of the strong emphasis on musician numbers, director Mamoru Hosada worked closely with Japanese singer Kaho Nakamura and involved her in the songwriting process. And even translated into English, Kylie McNeill gives a great performance. With an English voice cast featuring well-known YouTubers and live streamers including Lilypichu and ProZD, Belle’s dubbed version is one to check out too.
What’s the plot of Belle (2021 film)?
Beauty and the Beast retellings are no rarity, but Studio Chizu’s take on Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s 18th-century classic updates the tale for modern audiences.
High schooler Suzu Naito has lost her voice. She’s able to speak just fine, but following her mother’s tragic death, she finds it difficult to express herself — unable to enjoy carefree glees like singing. It’s only when Suzu finds a virtual space online that she’s able to shake away the anxiety holding her back.
Taking on the role of her gorgeous pink-haired avatar Belle, Suzu is able to express herself through song. And while her avatar’s looks initially garner her attention online, it’s her voice that makes her a hit.
It’s during one of her live performances, however, that she spies a mysterious avatar named The Beast. Dealing with turmoil of his own, The Beast sparks Belle’s curiosity. In secret, she attempted to learn more about the man others claim as a menace.
Where can I watch Belle in English subbed or dubbed?
Unfortunately, Belle is not available yet for streaming. Given its popularity, it’s possible that it may one day be available on platforms such as Netflix or Crunchyroll. For now, we’ll have to wait for future announcements. At the very least, those wanting a digital copy of the film can pre-order it on iTunes.
Those willing to wait a few months can purchase the Belle Blu-ray/DVD combo, which ships May 17th and includes several documentaries about the project, including a behind-the-scenes look at the music and the director’s commentary. Some features — such as an exclusive performance of Gales of Song by English voice actress Kylie McNeill — are only available on the Blu-ray disc.
Currently, the SteelBook Blu-ray pre-order is sold out at Target retailers, but check out for more details about future availability.