Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Vivid anime has humor and heart and deals with big themes.

Movie PG 2022 121 minutes
Belle Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 7 parent reviews

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.
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.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7 ):
Kids say (17 ):

Vibrantly spectacular, this anime movie imaginatively retells the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale as a humorous, heartfelt story of empowerment and self-discovery. In real life, Suzu is emotionally fragile teen dealing with the trauma of significant loss. In U, a social media metaverse, she can live a different life with the avatar and persona she creates. For viewers who, like Suzu, have difficulty expressing themselves face to face, U is a fantasy within a fantasy. It's vicariously exciting to watch Suzu become a sought-after celebrity (who still retains her anonymity) and see her confidence develop. We all want to be seen, appreciated, and celebrated for what we can offer the world, and kids in particular often feel insignificant or dismissed in the world of adults.

Director Mamoru Hosoda's film is absolutely phenomenal, but it takes a bit of a turn in the third act. Suzu takes "real world" actions that defy belief. Hiro, a computer whiz, suddenly starts pulling off feats that would impress the NSA. And adult characters knowingly allow Suzu to travel far away, alone, and into a dangerous situation. The thrill from watching a breathtaking work of perfection starts to lose a bit of steam -- at least, that's how adults and critics may see it. But for kids, Suzu finishes her journey in a way that may continue to bolster their own dreams of strength and independence. Can we ask for a more beautiful experience?

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