Belle ★★★★

I can't say I'm fully aware of the anime landscape, although I'm certainly trying in the last few years, but Belle looked like a visual stunner from the trailer and so I wanted to partake of it in the theater if I could.

What I didn't expect from this modern-modern digital interpretation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast was such a provocative rumination on the modern dual life experience of youth in a coming of age tale that invokes the full range of emotion.

Director Hosoda absolutely understands the language of cinema and creates such a fascinating world that says so much in its dialogue (so much dialogue through the white noise of voices in the digital realm) but says so much more in its moments between the spoken lines and through the silence. There are even edits that carry immense amounts of emotional gravitas.

Not to mention it is one of those few films that understands the power of music for teenagers in a way that doesn't feel hamfisted.

The music, the editing, the voice performances, and the visuals demand that Belle be seen on the biggest screen possible (see it in IMAX if its still available and you feel safe to see it).