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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, moving and beautiful to look at...
Get over the curious fact that the hero of this story is an Italian WWI aviator curiously transformed into a pig and you won't fail to be amazed by 'Porco Rosso'. It's another Studio Ghibli classic and equal to any of their other movies including 'Spirited Away'.
Porco Rosso (Crimson Pig) is a bounty hunter living in the Adriatic in the 1920s. He makes a living by...
Published on 20 Jun 2005 by P. White

versus
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not the best from Studio Ghibli
I am a long standing Studio Ghibli fan and have enjoyed every film so far, but of them all this is the one I enjoyed the least.

I found it a struggle to watch and at times even found myself bored. I found the pace to be wanting and also felt it to be a very masculine film overall, but this maybe the very reason I did not enjoy it has much has others from Hayao...
Published on 5 Jun 2006 by dreamsunderyourfeet


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, moving and beautiful to look at..., 20 Jun 2005
By 
P. White (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Get over the curious fact that the hero of this story is an Italian WWI aviator curiously transformed into a pig and you won't fail to be amazed by 'Porco Rosso'. It's another Studio Ghibli classic and equal to any of their other movies including 'Spirited Away'.
Porco Rosso (Crimson Pig) is a bounty hunter living in the Adriatic in the 1920s. He makes a living by flying his superb seaplane fighter and combatting the local air-pirates (also flying seaplanes) whilst admiring (from a distance) the woman he secretly loves (Gina). Again, don't get hung up on the pig thing: this is a mature and effective plot with some hard hitting political subtleties if you look closely and some spot on historical facts. The animation is first rate (as always with Ghibli) and some of the backgrounds are masterpieces: look closely at some of the framed paintings in Gina's room for example.
Where 'Porco Rosso' really shines is in the air. The flying sequences are truly exhilirating and Messers Spielberg & Lucas don't come close (really!). As always this is clearly a labour of love and art not commerce.
Oh: do me a favour and watch the subtitled Japanese version. You know it makes sense... :-)
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece from the magical Studio Ghibli., 14 Feb 2006
This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
Porco Rosso is a film that I have fond memories of, having first seen it during the early half of the mid-nineties as part of a Sky Movies double alongside Miyazaki's more acknowledged early masterpiece My Neighbour Totoro. Totoro is a fantastic film, one that can be enjoyed by an audience of any age, but it is the sublime Porco Rosso that always had the greater resonance for me, and as a result, is the film that I have returned to again and again over the course of the last decade.
The story is more complicated than some of Miyazaki's previous (or indeed, later) works, with the narrative unfolding around our titular central character, an Italian First World War fighter pilot (literally) cursed with the features of a pig, now living as a freelance bounty hunter chasing "air pirates" in the Adriatic Sea!! The reason why Porco has been cursed is never fully explained, with Miyazaki leaving only the vaguest suggestion of clues and hints before getting on with the more serious story at hand. Here, unlike great films such as Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, Miyazaki takes a story that is rooted in a recognisable historical period, choosing to focus on the era between the first and second world wars, the rise of Fascism and the great depression (which is here referenced on separate occasions). Added to this, we also have notions of romance (with Porco's relationship with hotel/club owner Gina perhaps offering a sense of redemption), the central adventure story involving Porco and the "air pirates", as well as feuds and rivalries (chiefly between Porco and the chauvinistic American pilot Curtis) and even a father/mentor type relationship to be found between Porco and his young aide Fio.
The film moves along at a great pace, offering moments of jaw-dropping action/animation and some wonderfully rendered character interaction. As with all the films from the Studio Ghibli production house, the animation here is staggering throughout, with Miyazaki demonstrating an intuitive grasp of how to capture, not only the dizzying scenes of action and mid-air acrobatics, but also the dramatic scenes too. The colours are strong and capture the feeling of time and the essence of the place and period, whilst the overall attention to character depth and detail goes great lengths towards cementing the backdrop of the story and also the believability of the characters. Like the most recent Miyazaki/Ghibli production, Howl's Moving Castle, Porco Rosso is a film that will appeal to children, but will also offer deeper themes that can be enjoyed and appreciated by adults and adolescents. The historical and political aspects for example are well handled, offering a further arc to the main story, without getting in the way of the action or the characters.
In this respect, Porco Rosso could very easily be considered a perfect film (for me at least), with several of the plot strands (amongst them the delicate romance between Porco and Gina, which seems positively pregnant with a subtle sense of sadness, as well as the different relationships that Porco has with Fio and Curtis) reaching a real emotional peak, whilst even managing to remain in my thoughts for the best part of a decade!! The film might lack an obvious sense of closure, leaving many aspects of Porco's past-life completely vague, but for me, this simply created a sense of mystique and a reason to see the film again!!! Porco Rosso is a magical film, and alongside works like My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, is a masterpiece from the always magnificent Studio Ghibli.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miyazaki really respects women, 7 Feb 2008
By 
Mr. A. W. Powsey "red squirrell" (reading, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
I was hooked on Ghibli a few months ago and now have all the collection. It is the rolls royce of animation. I love the way that girls and women feature in all his work. More often than not they are the heroines of the movie but even when not Miyazaki is at pains to show that nothing is beyond their capabilities. In this film the genius aero engineer is Fio, a young and beautiful woman who is building her first plane from scratch....and as the italian men have all disappeared, recruited into the army, it is the village women who actually build the plane. The other loves of Miyazaki have got to be: cats, wildlife and the environment, planes and trains.

I will have to be patient until the next Ghibli comes out (Ponyo)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up in the air, 18 Jan 2008
By 
BD (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
I'm always chary about flying films. Old Aeroplanes are my first passion and though the film industry occasionally tries to get some of it right, I usually end up shouting at the screen (Typically, "NO, you idiot!")

Not so with PR. Oh, the plot's straight Biggles and the characters seem to be Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Popeye's old adversary Bluto .... but Ah! the aeroplanes! They're from before my true period of expertise, and rather a mix of vintages themselves, but they're done with a care and affection which Hollywood can never be bothered with, not even in "Rocketeer."
I watched this film with a soppy grin all over my face (most of the time) and I'd give it six stars if they'd let me. Don't just sit there, order it! - Bri.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to look at, 22 Aug 2007
This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
This is beautiful to look at, and the soundtrack is perfectly sweet and romantic. The story is good fun, lightly amusing in places, with a possibility of romance. The flying sequences are very clever. The characters are all interesting. Gina is the beautiful widow who is unlucky with husbands, and good friends with Porco. Fio is a pretty teenager who rebuilds a plane for Porco. Curtis is a flash American pilot who is hired to shoot down Porco, by the air pirates. They provide most of the light humour.

The curse, which turns Porco into a pig, he believes is brought upon him because during a dogfight, he only thinks of himself and his survival. He survives but the rest of his flight are killed. One reviewer obviously was not paying attention at the end. Watch and listen very carefully to what Curtis says.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the funniest Studio Ghibli films iv seen, 23 Feb 2007
This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
i really, really loved watching this! The characters are great and the planes are even better. the air pirates are the most funny characters i've seen and they had me giggling like a little school girl.

this movie is really great, despite being about a piggy pilot. I think anyone could enjoy this, but especially adults because of the humor. its one of my favourite studio ghibli films, despite not having a deeper meaning or not being that epic. its just charming and it just exists. please buy it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of Miyazaki?, 18 Jan 2009
By 
R. Miles (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
Utterly gorgeous to look at, with at least two of the most beautiful sequences of animation ever filmed. But also very funny, engaging, and thoughtful by turns. Plenty here for film fans of any age and persuasion, plotlines ranging from old-fashioned unrequited love (Gina and Marco) to adventure (Porco v. just about everybody else in the air), to political intrigue (secret police etc), but the main focus is less the story than the sheer romance of flying and rescuing fantastic machines amid wonderful scenery. When Porco tells Fio the story of how he came to be cursed - which is all a bit existential, not that that matters at all - it's perhaps the most poignant scene of any animated film: gently enigmatic, glorious to see, and just plain heartbreaking, all at once.

I first saw the film just over 10 years ago, slightly intrigued by what all the fuss was about, and loved it straightaway. Since then I've watched it probably every other year. More surprisingly, despite plenty of competition from fine newer releases by Miyazaki, Pixar et al., my children adore this film it as much as ever (they were 5-ish on first seeing it, so 15-ish now and still wanting to see it) - that's quite a test of the Crimson Pig's durability.

Miyazaki, on form, is arguably the best hand-drawn animator alive. Porco Rosso is among his very finest work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The atmosphere of Casablanca!, 12 Aug 2009
By 
N. Rogall "nlr50" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful rich anime - with the feel of 'Casablanca'. I love Studio Ghibli but this is my all time favourite. How can you not love a film with the line 'better a pig than a fascist'! However the subtitled version is much better than the dubbed which has terrible American accents
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greats, 6 Feb 2006
By 
Davywavy2 - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
It is the 1920's, and the Adriatic is plagued by sky-pirates, terrorising shipping in souped-up seaplanes. Facing off against them is the greatest pilot of them all - the mercenary known as Porco Rosso: The Crimson Pig.
This is a story of heroism, comedy, love and redemption, and the animators get more conviction out of an animated pig than many real-life actors can manage. Set against the rise of fascism in post-Great War Italy, Porco Rosso offers a story about why someone would adandon their humanity, and what it takes for them to get it back, in the middle of the most beautifully animated sequences of flight I've ever seen. Miyazaki loves his flight sequences, and it is this film which showwcase his love and skill more than any other he has done.
Coupled with a cast of well-drawn supporting characters and Ghibli's refusal to view heroes or villains as anything other than people with motivations and flaws, Porco Rosso is as skillful a piece of filmmaking as you're likely to see.
For my money, this is Studio Ghibli's best film, which means that it is one of the best anime films ever produced. You'll love it, and so will your friends and any children you have about the place.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An often overlooked gem, 24 Sep 2007
This review is from: Porco Rosso [DVD] (DVD)
If you've seen Studio Ghibli films such as Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle or My Neighbour Totoro, you may be slightly surprised by Porco Rosso. Our cursed hero, mysteriously transformed into a pig, lives as an exiled bounty hunter after leaving the 1920's Italian Air Force due to his anti-fascist beliefs. Dealing with themes of love and loss, Rosso fights pirates, smokes and punches his way through the film, which lacks the storybook, child-like themes seen in other Ghibli films. However, much license is taken with the historical setting, and the scenes of dog fights and the air pirates manages to elaborate the adriatic sea to a sight more than big enough to accommodate "the Scarlet Pig" and his airborne adversaries. The film could be enjoyed by older children, but some of the violence, slower scenes and historic details certainly aims this towards the older crowd rather than Ghibli's more family-oriented output. Truly touching, with a fantastic lead character and a strong supporting cast of characters, this film is a must watch and manages to present a more mature storyline whilst maintaining some of the wonder of My Neighbour Totoro and Hayao Miyazaki's other creations.
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Porco Rosso [DVD]
Porco Rosso [DVD] by Hayao Miyazaki (DVD - 2006)
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