Where the A. S. Byatt novel is more interested in how it presents historical details and toying with the stories that served as inspiration, insightfully analyzing and discussing everything from Chaucer to One Thousand and One Nights, Miller and co-writer Gore lean into the magic of fantasy.
His penchant for fantastic narratives has caused many to liken Hosoda to Miyazaki, but work hews closer to the heightened melodrama of his contemporaries in anime like Makoto Shinkai and Naoko Yamada. His tenderness and perpetual optimism are key to why Belle and his other films are as beautifully drawn as they are.
Many recent musicals have tried to ground themselves in realism or history itself, rarely breaking away to indulge in spectacle and never commenting on their approach to storytelling. Carax and Sparks, by contrast, aim to expose the artifice inherent in their production.