With Mamoru Hosoda’s latest movie opening in US theaters this Friday, Studio Chizu and the film’s distributor have shared a new trailer for Belle. The more than three-minute-long clip shows the movie’s opening scene in its entirety, introducing us to U, Belle’s metaverse-like virtual world. The trailer is mostly a showcase of Studio Chizu’s virtuoso animation work, but we also get to hear an equally great English cover of Millennium Parade’s “U” and learn more about the setting.
The metaverse has been a hot topic recently thanks in large part to the work Meta has done to promote the concept as the next big evolution of the internet, but Belle director Mamoru Hosoda has thinking about what virtual worlds might mean for our interpersonal relationships for a long time. Back in 2009, he directed Summer Wars. That film imagines a world where everything is connected through a separate digital realm. More than a decade ago, the idea seemed outlandish. Now it feels prescient.