North American fans of Mamoru Hosoda have been eagerly waiting for the theatrical release of his next film, Belle.
It turns out they will be able to have language options because GKIDS just announced the English dubbed cast of the film.
The announcement also comes with a brand new trailer teasing the cast and showing off bits of their performances.
The film will introduce Kylie McNeill as protagonist Suzu and her avatar Belle. Manny Jacinto (The Good Place, Bates Motel) will play Suzu’s childhood friend Shinobu Hisatake.
Chance Crawford (Blood & Oil, The Boys) will play the rebellious Justin. The film will also introduce Paul Castro Jr as the infamous Dragon, the “Beast” of the story.
The film will also feature more veteran voice actors such as Jessica DiCicco (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Adventure Time), Barbara Goodson (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Fraggle Rock), and Wendee Lee (Robotech, Outlaw Star).
Additional voices will be provided by Tom Bromhead, Tiana Camacho, John Bentley, SungWon Cho, Larissa Gallagher, Courtney Chu, Heather Gonzalez, Anjali Kunapaneni, Xanthe Huynh, Kyle McCarley, Zeno Robinson, Julie Nathanson, LilyPichu, Michael Sinterniklaas, Stephanie Sheh, Rachel Slotky, and Laura Stahl.
GKIDS and NYAV Post both produced the English-language version. From the trailer alone we already have confirmation of a bit of a hot topic in the anime dubbing industry.
That subject is whether or not the songs should be dubbed as well as the dialogue. Some fans are all for it, some aren’t.
The team behind Belle seems to have made the decision to dub the songs, but judging from what we can hear in the trailer it looks like Kylie McNeill was up for the challenge.
Skeptics might also get some relief knowing that it was supervised by soundtrack composers Taisei Iwasaki and Ludvig Forssell, as well as the film’s music supervisor Takayuki Chiyo.
GKIDS describes the synopsis of the film on their own website.
Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself.
But when she enters “U”, a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a gorgeous and globally-beloved singer.
One day, her concert is interrupted by a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an emotional and epic quest to uncover the identity of this mysterious “beast” and to discover her true self in a world where you can be anyone.
Belle’s initial premiere was at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021 to which it received a 14-minute standing ovation.
It’s North American premiere was at the New York Film Festival later in the year. Belle currently holds a positive 89/100 score on Metacritic.com.
Fans won’t have to wait much longer as the film’s North American release is set for January 14, 2022.
The English language soundtrack will be released on that day as well, though the original Japanese version is currently available for listening on some platforms such as Spotify. Regardless of what language you prefer, you’re sure to witness quite the spectacle!