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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 20 June 2005
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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on 25 July 2017
Unleash the pig! This is a definite 'grower', having viewed it twice now. The stock Ghibli figures from other animations are readily recognisable here, and some of the animated work on show here is beautiful. It is a tail of flying, of sea pilots and of sea pirates who are also sea pilots. There are clear nods to other films and cartoon characters, notably Brutus from Popeye.The ending is curious - you will either embrace it or find it infuriating, but there is plenty to enjoy as you go along for the ride. If you - like me - are a sucker for Ghibli films, then this is a no-brainer.
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on 4 February 2017
This was an absolutely great movie, lovely story, great characters, as always, great quality and effort with the movie, everything about it is just lovely, and it was a nice surprise to see Susan Egan voiced the main love interest, lovely movie! Although one thing i did slightly odd was many older men seeming to love this younger girl, but that seems to be a thing with the Studio Ghibli movies?
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on 2 July 2017
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on 27 July 2017
love these films. this one is one of my all time faves. its funny and heart warming
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on 11 August 2017
This becomes more and more my favorite Miyazaki movie. Bluray is better as DVD if you like crisp animation coloring and lines.
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on 22 August 2007
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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on 23 February 2007
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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on 18 January 2009
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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on 14 February 2006
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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