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'Belle' & 'Poupelle Of Chimney Town' Set For May Home Release

If you're one of those not feeling confident enough to return to cinemas just yet, or don't live near enough a cinema that shows GKIDS releases, then you'll have been patiently awaiting the home release of Mamoru Hosoda's Belle. The film was released theatrically in the US and Canada in January, where it went on to be Hosoda's highest grossing film there to date. A feat it had already managed in Japan itself.

GKIDS and their distribution partner Shout Factory have confirmed a home release for Belle will take place in May. It will be released on all major digital platforms (such as Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and so on) from May 3.  A Blu-Ray and DVD combo-pack will be released on May 17. A Steelbook edition of the Blu-Ray will also be released, available exclusively at Target.

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 the online persona of 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.

The digital version will be available as both original language and English dubbed versions, and the Blu-Ray/DVD will contain both versions. The Blu-Ray and Steelbook editions will also contain a slate of exclusive features:

  • The Making of BELLE*
  • A Conversation with Director Mamoru Hosoda
  • The Music of BELLE
  • Hosoda Draws BELLE
  • Scene Breakdowns
  • Finding the Voice of Belle
  • Mamoru Hosoda at Animation is Film
  • Design Gallery*
  • Kylie McNeill Performs “Gales of Song”*
*Blu-Ray only

Meanwhile, Shout Factory are also distributing Poupelle of Chimney Town the new film from Studio 4°C (Children Of The Sea). Eleven Arts released the film theatrically in late 2021, and will release the film on home formats this May.

Poupelle of Chimney Town is the story of young Lubicchi living among the thick smoke from the chimneys of his isolated town, yearning to see the “stars” — to know the truth — his father always told him about. One Halloween night he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage, and together they look to the sky as their adventure begins. Spectacularly beautiful, filled with inspiring performances and splendid music and sound effects, Poupelle of Chimney Town brings laughter, tears, and joy.
An official selection of Annecy International Animation Film Festival and numerous other renowned festivals, Poupelle of Chimney Town has been recognized with several honors and movie awards nominations, including a Japan Academy Film Prize for Excellent Animation of the Year, a Cristal Award nomination from Annecy for Best Feature, an ANNIE awards nomination for Best Music – Feature, and a Satoshi Kon Award nomination from Fantasia for Best Animated Feature.

Poupelle Of Chimney Town will be available digitally on May 3, with a Blu-Ray and DVD combo-pack following on May 31. The disc release will contain the film in both subtitled and English dubbed editions plus special features, as well as an exclusive picture booklet. If you buy directly from Shout Factory's online store, an exclusive poster is included (while stocks last).

The included special features are:

The World of Chimney Town — A Discussion with Director Yusuke Hirota and Creator Akihiro Nishino.
What's Next For Chimney Town — An Exclusive Interview with Creator Akihiro Nishino.
Creator Akihiro Nishino Special Q&A — Malibu Film Society Screening.

Pre-order your copy from Right Stuf Anime for $21.58  of from Amazon for $26.98.