Belle (The Dragon and the Freckled Princess)

When the credits rolled on Belle, it was a standing ovation. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Spectacular.

Belle is the story of a shy young girl whose avatar becomes the biggest singing sensation in the online world of U. When her concert is interrupted by the renegade user labelled The Beast, she is the only voice of understanding and patience in a firestorm of backlash. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast for the internet age, its message of not letting appearance blind you to someone’s character, emotions and value, is perfect for the era of trolls, doxxing, and global shaming.

Everything about this is just 100%. The rich and imaginative world, the gorgeous character design, the music which is going straight on my Spotify, everything is just brilliant. The emotional rawness of the characters, even when having comedy moments, is just done perfectly. Despite how small the challenges might seem from the outside, like singing in front of people or telling someone how you feel, the film manages to transport you into the character’s shoes, where that small step seems like a chasm leap. And however it might seem to others, it takes all one’s bravery to take it.

Just a brilliant film. I am so glad I got to see it in the cinema, because this really is one to see on the big screen. The huge vistas, the scale, the intricacy, it just blows you away.