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Belle

Belle Movie Poster
Our Review
age 12+

Based on 7 parent reviews

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age 13+

Slow, plot holes, inappropriate for young kids.

Themes not appropriate for younger audiences, including on-screen child abuse, age-inappropriate romantic relationships, and serious psychological trauma due to a parent's death. Also, it's incredibly slow. Long, motionless pauses throughout stretch into 2 hours what could have easily fit under 90 min, and would have been a better movie for the editing. One of my kids actually left before the end, because she "just wasn't interested." So many weak plot points, besides. The Beast is being hunted because he won too many competition fights IN AN ONLINE GAME? Huh. Not seeing the problem, but if it is then why don't the admins just ban him, since IT'S AN ONLINE GAME? And why does Bell so desperately want to know another player's RL info IN AN ONLINE GAME (long before she knows about his abuse)? My kids' first internet safety rule is to never tell anyone their real name or where they live, so that makes Bell an online stalker in our book. Nice animation and songs, but really disappointing otherwise.
2 people found this helpful.
age 12+

Belle Retold for Teen Audiences

Furturistic Belle retelling. One scene that I felt was inappropriate was a scene where there are characters dressed in what appears to be lingerie on a computer screen. There is also an inappropriate age gap between two characters romantically. Lastly, the potential abuse of parents toward their children is the basis for why the main character goes to this other world to escape reality which was also concerning.
1 person found this helpful.
age 10+

Great positive messages for tweens

Great movie with positive messages about being yourself and standing up for others. Great songs as well. There are some intense scenes with kids cowering from their abusive dad (no actual violence shown) and some more intense scenes of fighting that might not be appropriate for younger ages and a swearing a few times, but overall a great movie with good messages.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.
age 18+

Plot holes strung together by social media angst

I wanted to like this movie, since Mamoru Hosuda's film "Mirai" was so exceptionally good. Unfortunately this one is not in the same category. Aside from some thin "help people by being your true self and being kind" themes, there's just not much here. Late plot developments deal with parental child abuse, but that's both "too much" for kid viewers (and for the high-school characters) to plausibly bear; and "too little too late" to be a significant or well-handled theme: if you're going to address that big and thorny topic, do so right out of the gate, show the full gravity and heaviness of it, accept the PG-13 (or R) rating, and market to an adult audience. Don't tack it on at the end and then leave it unresolved. Ugh. As for the first two-thirds of the plot: there really wouldn't be one without kids-with-smartphones and the resultant social-media-induced anxiety. This is where nearly all of the drama comes from, and it's equal parts disturbing and nauseating. The film would have done much better to address THAT as the main problem, instead of forcing in the child-abuse theme. Plot holes and implausibilities are numerous throughout--capped off by "a pack of grown adults lets a lone high-school girl travel halfway across Japan to confront a known violent child-abuser, whom she then stares down through sheer force of will, despite at all points previous having been entirely lacking in self-confidence." Yeah, no thanks. [There would be a spoiler alert here, but I'm actively dis-recommending the film, so, there isn't.] Effectively the only positive lesson in this film is "Don't be anonymous on social media," but isn't that kind of *the baseline rule* for safely letting your kids on social networks? Songs are tasked with a lot of the grunt work of carrying the plot and producing the intended emotional response, but in English translation at least, they aren't quite up to the task: the poetry just isn't good enough, symbolism is abandoned in favor of blunt feeling-words, and there is no way to make it look not like a bad lip-sync. (The mouth mismatch to dialogue is pretty inconspicuous in dialogue, but takes away from the experience on long sung syllables.) The artwork is pretty and engaging, but much of it in the U-verse is just weird-for-the-sake-of-weird and doesn't add up to anything bigger. It's fine but not outstanding -- to "digitized" to be truly beautiful. The scenes with the Beast and his castle are pretty much watered-down rip-offs from Disney's version and don't add anything to the fairy tale, unfortunately -- or to the plot of this film, which could have done something else with those minutes of runtime. Momoru Hosuda has some valuable, insightful, and worthwhile things to say. They just didn't make it into this ill-conceived film. Skip this one and go watch "Mirai" a second time, ok?
age 10+

Starts off very strong, but falters at the end

This film starts off with a lot of promise. There are many moments where it seems like the film is going to propel into the stratosphere. But in the third act there are certain revelations and the resolve comes too quickly and too easily that does not seem to honor what had transpired. There are some interesting ideas, but structurally, conceptually, the film seems to fall short. But on the positives, the music is lovely, the songs are strong (and I do not care for this type of music, but the sentiment feels sincere). The animation is lush and demands to be seen in the largest screen possible. There is enough from Disney's Beauty and the Beast to feel like an homage, but is not bogged down by that film's canon. Bold moves, bold strokes, but doesn't quite congeal in the end.
age 10+

Lessons that can lead to great discussions

I would say this is a movie for older kids and as an adult I loved it. Surprised it is rated PG though. This movie deals with very serious topics like identity, trauma, death, grief, and abuse. There is also a scene not mentioned in the content— some women in sexy lingerie around a bed on a livestream. It zooms in to some text on screen and you can see one of the girls shaking her butt in the back. I thought it wasn’t necessary, but after watching the movie to the end I understood why they put it in there. (Because everyone is bound to run into videos or even ads with stuff like that. I have just playing on crossword puzzle apps. A great discussion with kids and teens.) We live in a digital world. People live out other lives on social media, through games, and more. It’s not who they REALLY are. And they show that contrast of people are flashy, extreme, and competing in the digital world. But in real life, they may be dealing with grief, trauma, or even abuse. The movie is about learning who you really are but also learning that other people are hurting too. On social media they may be one thing, but who knows who they are in real life. It’s a persona. I think it would make for great discussions with kids and teens.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 11+

Metaverse and social media issues.

My daughter loves anime movies (Studio Ghibli and all) and this one is one of the best. Its dialogues are so update, w/ beautiful visuals and songs and characters as well. Strong messages, and strong topics raised among the characters. Definitely a movie for your kid to watch with a parent around. You both gonna love it and have lots to talk about.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models