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Porco Rosso Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)
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Acclaimed Japanese animated feature from Studio Ghibli. Set in the 1930s, the film follows Porco Rosso (Shûichirô Moriyama), a talented fighter pilot who is turned into a pig by a magic spell. Adapting well to his porcine transformation, Porco sells himself out as a pilot for hire, until a big shot American flyer arrives, looking to make a name for himself by shooting down the Crimson Pig. With his feisty sidekick Fio (Akemi Okamura), Porco gets his battered plane back into shape for the big showdown.
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 Rosso may be an odd film, but Miyazaki's directorial imagination never flags.-- Charles Solomon --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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... :-)
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!
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Adore this film. I'm not sure how to put it. It is simply glorious. So sweet, romantic and yet fun and sarcastic, even sad. Animation, colours, voice acting is top-notch. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Satyasya
Great movie, my only complaint is that it didn't come with a cardboard sleeve like shown in the images. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Phoebe
What a beautiful film! If you enjoy Studio Ghibli you will love this film. Such a wonderful story.Published 8 months ago by Laura D