Porco Rosso is about an Italian World War I flying ace who is now working as a freelance bounty hunter. Somewhere along the line, he was cursed and transformed into a pig; however, the film never explains how he got the curse. Originally known as Marco Pagot, he is now known as Porco Rosso (which is Italian for "Red Pig"). Porco hunts down seaplane pirates in the Adriatic Sea. Even though Porco is rivals with the pirates, they can coexist with a minimal amount of bloodshed. During the course of the film, we meet his friend Gina, rival Curtis, and Fio (a 17-year-old aircraft designer).
The animation and storytelling are strong points for Porco Rosso. However, I think the pacing of the story may be too slow for younger children to enjoy. Personally, I think this film will appeal to anime viewers who are nine or ten years of age and older.
Just like Disney's other Studio Ghibli releases, Porco Rosso was released as a two-disc set. The first disc contains the film and most of the special features. The first special feature is a roughly seven minute long documentary titled, "Behind the Microphone." During the documentary, you see some of the voice actors recording the English dialogue for the dub version of the film. There are also interviews with some of the English dub actors (Susan Egan, Cary Elwes, Michael Keaton, David Ogden Stiers, Brad Garrett, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley). It's a decent documentary for what it is.
Next is a three-and-a-half minute interview with Toshio Suzuki, the Japanese producer for Porco Rosso. The audio is in Japanese, and English subtitles are provided. Then, there are the original Japanese trailers and TV spots for the film. This feature runs for about eight minutes, and it has Japanese audio with some English subtitles. The spots are in one continuous piece; there is no way to select which ones you want to see. The final menu option in the special features menu allows you to register the DVD.
All that is on the second disc of Porco Rosso is a storyboard version of the film; basically, it's the movie, expect it only utilizes storyboards and none of the actual animation. Just like with Disney's other Studio Ghibli releases, I just don't understand releasing a storyboard version of the film on a second disc.
If you are a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli's films, then you should see Porco Rosso. Even with the unnecessary second disc, this is a DVD that should be in the collection of any anime fan.
Looking at the front cover of Porco Rosso I automatically thought that the animation will a little old and foggy so I hesitated to buy it. I am ashamed of myself for judging the anime by its cover because this film has some of the most beautiful animation I've ever seen. Porco starts the film with his pig head so you will have to watch the film to find out how he got this curse. It is said Porco Rosso is one of Miyazaki's oddest films but the only thing odd in this is Porcos head. One … more
This is not just a delightful animated film, it is a spectacular film of any genre that fits on the same shelf with Casablanca, Shane, and other wonderful films about how lonely it is to be a wandering hero. I bought this for my kids, and they all love it as much as the other Miyazaki films we've collected on DVD and VHS. One of the first words of my now three year old son (who has been late getting language) was "Porco" -- a word, which, to him, meant "put the Porco Rosso video on now please Dad!!" … more
I'm a freelance writer whoserves as the Anime editor at BellaOnline; I have also had work published at Associated Content. I also maintain two blogs: AeschTunes and Lesley's Musings... on Manga. … more
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Porco Rosso(The Crimson Pig, 1992) ranks as Hayao Miyazaki's oddest film: a bittersweet period adventure about a dashing pilot who has somehow been turned into a pig. Miyazaki once said, "Initially, it was supposed to be a 45-minute film for tired businessmen to watch on long airplane flights... Why kids love it is a mystery to me." The early 1930s setting enabled Miyazaki to focus on the old airplanes he loves, and the film boasts complex and extremely effective aerial stunts and dogfights. In the new English dub from Disney, Michael Keaton as Porco delivers lines like "All middle-aged men are pigs" with appropriate cynicism, but his voice may be too familiar for some Miyazaki fans. Susan Egan makes a curiously distant Gina, the thrice-widowed hotel owner bound to Porco by years of friendship; Kimberly Williams is more effective as the irrepressible young engineer Fio.Porco Rossomay be an odd film, but Miyazaki's directorial imagination never flags. (Rated PG: violence, alcohol and tobacco use)--Charles Solomon