It has been confirmed that the film, inspired by the classic story Beauty and the Beast,will be released in UK and Ireland cinemas next month.

Anime Limited have announced that Mamoru Hosoda’s (MIRAIWolf Children) latest film is set to be released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on the 4th February 2022.

Suzu is a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters “U,” a virtual world of five billion members on the Internet. There, she is not Suzu anymore but Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature. Together, they embark on a journey of adventures, challenges and love, in their quest to become who they truly are.

The film has been animated and produced by Studio Chizu, Mamoru Hosoda’s film production base, with character designs for Belle by Jin Kim (Disney’s Frozen, Moana) and artwork by Eric Wong, a young British architect who designed the virtual world “U”. The scenes that are part of the virtual world “U” were created by the Oscar-nominated team of Tom Moore and Ross Stewart (Cartoon Saloon’s Wolfwalkers, Song of the Sea).

Those also involved with the creation of the film includes Taisei Iwasaki (Blood Blockade Battlefront, Ghibli’s Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo) who along with composing original songs and score, led multiple composers and produced the film’s music entirely. Other composers include critically acclaimed Yuta Bandoh (Yuri on Ice, Poupelle of Chimney Town) and BAFTA nominee Ludvig Forssell (Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding) The film’s main theme “U” was performed by groundbreaking Japanese act millennium parade led by the composer of the song Daiki Tsuneta.

The film was originally released in cinemas including IMAX screens in Japan on the 16th July 2021 and marks Hosoda’s first title to have IMAX screenings, and played in 38 IMAX theatres throughout Japan. It is still being screened in Japan.

Belle will be released in UK and Ireland cinemas on the 4th February. It will be available in both its original Japanese language with English subtitles, as well as an English language version.