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  • walrashish22 December 2005
    Porco Rosso is not just one of those movies that you watch and give back to Netflix. It is one of those movies that genuinely makes you hate your life, but in a good way. Watching a movie like Porco Rosso makes you wish that you lived in their world, and that you could fly your own plane between the Adriatic Islands and your own private hideaway. It is the kind of film that takes you inside it and leaves you with a sort of culture shock when you are forced to realize that you are in your modern-day room with no way to get around but a car or a bike. It is the sort of movie that you watch again not only because you love it so much, but also so that you can have a portal back into that magical world and dream that you can become like one of the characters in the movie with some sort of "reality". Who cares if there are flaws? Is the world absolutely perfect? So what if there is ambiguity about the ending? Is life always crystal clear? Porco Rosso is one of those movies that has the perfect mix of reality and fantasy; it gives you a world that you wish you were a part of, and COULD be, if only you can find it....
  • Over the decades, Japan has established itself in the animation scene as a contender, creating some of the most mind boggling realistic, detailed animation the world has ever seen. However, Japan had primarily made cartoons involving their traditional, cultural and supernatural themes that the world felt alienated to.

    It wasn't until a great artist came along in the mid-1970s that was to make Disney look like a second class citizen in the animation business. Hayao Miyazaki was Japan's inspiration to open their eyes to new horizons and show the world their hand in art. His first motion picture released in the late 70s was Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, which proved to be a world success. From that point on, he created some of the most memorable, brilliant and detailed masterpieces the western world ever saw - most having something to do with world issues and human's spiritual touch with nature. It wasn't until I saw Porco Rosso that I found my oasis in animation, a film that has no reason to be a cartoon due to its sheer realism and setting.

    The premise is simple, subtle and imaginatively compelling. The story follows a humanoid pig known as Porco Rosso ('Crimson Pig' in English Translation), a bush pilot during the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s when Mussolini was a strong ally with Hitler. Whilst war is on the brink of initiation, Bush Pilot 'Pirates' roam the Italian coast, robbing ships, tourists and living the life few people could experience. Among these gambling, thieving, dirty pirates however, Porco Rosso stands as the ace pilot and feared by all. As he threatens the welfare of all the pirates, particularly the Mamma Aiuto Gang, the price on his head sky rockets. The only thing that lies between him and the pirates is a beautiful woman named Madame Gina, the singer and proprietor of an island resort popular with all the pilots that come through. Gina loves Porco since childhood, when he was a real human, and cannot bare to lose yet another close one, like her previous husbands. Both Porco's and Gina's world is turned upside down when an American ace pilot named Curtis intrudes into their lives, insisting on making a name for himself as he plans to fight Porco in an air battle all the while falling in love with Gina.......the American way.

    Porco's subsequent adventures lead him to discover something about himself, about those important to him and about letting go of his constant turmoil and guilt of events that have haunted him for years, as he meets new characters that open his eyes and return him to what he once was.........just a human.

    Rarily has an adventure movie been so fun, rich and captivating as Porco Rosso in addition to its overwhelmingly brilliant animation. Like I said before, there is no reason for this film to be a cartoon, but because it is and because it was realized in the way that it was, this is what makes it a masterpiece among World Animation.

    The story, being very simple, could be taken on many levels with its inner meaning and symbolism. You forget that you are watching a cartoon after 5 minutes. It takes itself mildly seriously and the comic relief is timed to perfection. The characters vividly come to life and drain you of your emotions with each of their stories. The world Hayao Miyazaki creates is so real, that you are inevitably drawn into it. The magnificent romantic and exotic music and attention to authenticity make the film's atmosphere so convincing and breathtaking - the music always suiting at the right moments. I hardly believed this was a Japanese film, considering it felt completely like a European production. But no, only Hayao Miyazaki could accomplish such feats as to utilize your imagination and transport you to another world without any reference to his origins. That is his gift. This was evident ever since his motion picture debut. He has made many brilliant films, but Porco Rosso is the black sheep in the crowd. It is like something he's never done before, as all his films were supernatural in many ways.

    This is my favorite cartoon of all time, and one of the great motion pictures you're bound to ever come across in world cinema. Forget about Disney. If you love animation and film, go no further than Hayao Miyazaki, one of the last great directors and story tellers in a world which has forgotten quality. Disney died a long time ago, and Miyazaki is a director in the old tradition - a tradition where plot and characters meant much more than special effects. Porco Rosso is an escape you'll come back to often. Few films have captured the essence of Europe, Flying and Adventure quite like it. It lifts your spirits and inspires you to see the world in a different way. The beautiful mix of music, color, animation, detail and setting make this a most unforgettable experience. 'Porco Rosso' is the definitive work from the legend of modern animation, Hayao Miyazaki.
  • If somebody were to start up an all-Ghibli network on television, I'd leave the set on that channel unless I heard a nuclear attack siren. Kurenai no Buta is one of those films that could fill up much of the schedule, as I could watch it over and over again.

    Set in Fascist Italy in the late twenties, the story is about a cursed WWI Italian fighter pilot, Porco Rosso, doomed to live out his life in the form of a pig. He spends his leisure hours basking on his secluded private beach with his bright red monoplane. He makes his living by tangling with air pirates, collecting rewards for recovery of valuables.

    Porco Rosso has a lot to deal with in this story. He has the pirates to contend with, a swashbuckling American mercenary looking for a good dogfight, an increasingly intrusive Fascist presence eyeing his activities, a finicky airplane, and two women in love with him. Other than the vaguely appearing Fascists, there are no real villains in the film.

    Mamma Aiuto is a heavy-set bearded chap, somewhat reminiscent of Bluto in the Popeye cartoons. He and his gang of bungling pirates have honor, if not exactly fastidious bathing habits.

    Donald Curtis, an American mercenary, seems driven to glory and fame-and falls in love with every pretty face he sees. He's after notoriety and feels an air duel with Porco Rosso is the ticket to get there.

    Gina, Porco's childhood sweetheart, runs a popular island resort. She's still in love with him, but he doesn't quite get it. All the pilots of the Adriatic love Gina, who was married and widowed thrice. Donald Curtis is right in there with everyone else vying for her attention.

    Fio Piccolo, a 17-year old American aeronautical engineer, is commissioned by a reluctant Porco to fix his plane. She also falls in love with him as she gradually sees his character. He gets it, but he's not really interested in that kind of arrangement--especially with one so young.

    A working, radio-controlled scale model of his plane hangs in the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan, along with photos of it in flight as proof that the airplane depicted in the film actually could fly.

    This story weaves together beautifully and leads to an ending that is a topic of discussion among those who have seen it. This is a must-see film. I give it an easy 10.
  • benturkalj12 October 2005
    Although few people actually know about this film, it must be stated that this one of the best animated films of all time. It is also quite unique, and has comedy and themes more enjoyable for an adult audience, though youngsters should also get a kick out of it.

    Porco Rosso follows the adventures of a man known as porco, a pilot who attacks pirates for a fee during World War II, and has the unfortunate problem of being cursed to look like a pig. It follows his adventures, battling many different foes for a number of different reasons.

    Porco Rosso has a lot of things to recommend it. The artwork is stunning, with amazing attention to detail and a great anime style. The story is an absolute joy to follow, and has that perfect blend of comedy, drama and action. Although it is hard to describe the story properly without giving to much away, this truly is one to watch at all ages, though most of the humor is aimed at adults. Do yourself a favor and see it: you won't be disappointed.
  • Miyazaki is an inspiration for artists everywhere. His total mastery of all aspects of storytelling craft makes the amazing seem easy.

    Kurenai no Buta manages to be over-the-top fun and exceedingly subtle at the same moment. The dialogue is at once straightforward yet with layer upon layer of dramatic meaning. The animated wizardry is stunning as usual, yet never over the top. It always comes across as so natural.

    This film is a homage to so many different genres, places, people and attitudes one could go on ages pulling them all out. Amazing amount of detail packed into every scene.

    Well I am running out of superlatives. Like all master works of art, this leaves you with something special. In this case I find it hard to describe perhaps since the Pig himself is such a mysterious character.

    See it.
  • "Porco Rosso" is probably the first animated Humphrey Bogart film. Why? The title character, a WWI flying ace who has been transformed into a pig, reminded me of Bogart with his gruff manner and that world-weary cynicism that instantly endears us to Bogart. "Porco Rosso" is also a highly entertaining adventure film, and Miyazaki has once again created a slew of characters you can either cheer for or hiss vehemently at them.

    The US dub is done particularly well (Disney tends not to muck Miyazaki's movies up most of the time), with Michael Keaton hitting that Bogart vibe as the title character. Keaton was obviously the first choice on the dubber's mind for this character, and he performs excellently. Susan Egan is the voice of Madame Gina, Porco's friend who loves him but he doesn't quite get it. Cary Elwes, who is of course British, does a convincing Southern accent as the movie's main villain, Curtis, a hotshot American pilot who challenges Porco. David Ogden Stiers shows off his vocal chameleon skills as Piccolo, Porco's mechanic friend; Stiers's voice sounds genuinely Italian, and I must again wonder: How does he do it? Anyway, moving on. Kimberly Williams, whom you may or may not remember from the Steve Martin version of "Father of the Bride", is spunky as Fio, the other main female character who becomes Porco's partner (albeit reluctantly on his part).

    All in all, "Porco Rosso" is a highly entertaining movie, and it should be seen by everyone.
  • tieman6428 February 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    Hayao Miyazaki is one of the few Japanese animators to be fully embraced by mainstream Western audiences, perhaps because he is a giant europhile, thoroughly fond of European culture, architecture, art and food.

    No surprise then that "Porco Rosso" is heavily influenced by 1930-40s British, American and French adventure comics ("Popular Flying", "Battlefield Action", "Frontline Combat" etc), all of which served up exciting tales set in Europe, often with soldiers as heroes. A large subset of these comics focused solely on fighter pilots (The Red Baron, James Bigglesworth, The White Fokker), romanticised knights of the skies, gallant, brave and chivalrous. As the war drew to a close, and film noirs became popular, the prim and proper aviation hero got a little bit scuffed up. He was now not only a total ace, but a suave ladies man, moody loner and cynic.

    And so "Porco Rosso" takes the best from these early wartime adventures and collides them with Humprey Bogart noirs, Michael Curtiz flicks, Pressburger's "A Matter of Life and Death" and Miyazaki's own obsessions, all to create a kind of ultra romantic cocktail. The setting: a fantastical version of 1920's Italy, in which the skies are ruled by heroic seaplane pilots, bounty-hunters and pirates. When they're not dodging tracers and dancing in the skies, these hotshot fly boys hang out at Gina's island café, where they kick back, relax and listen to Gina sing sad tunes of lovers long lost. Here, like Rick's Bar in "Casablanca", there's an unwritten truce between all men. You may be enemies in the clouds, but on Gina's island, everyone's your buddy.

    The film revolves around Porco Rosso (Italian for "the crimson pig"), a chubby pig dressed in a detective's trench coat and dark shades. He should be ridiculous, but with his witty one-liners ("I'd rather be a pig than a fascist"), cool detachment, political apathy and romantic distance, comes across instead as Bogart with a snout. The guy's not just the coolest pilot in the Adriatic, but a total ladies man, women fawning over him despite his perpetual disinterest.

    Like most of Miyazaki's films, the plot is barely told. What Miyazaki invests in is creating worlds. Moody spaces. And so we savour the film's postcard images of Croatian and Italian villages, its lovingly drawn architecture, Gina's cosy island château (seemingly modelled on Rick's Bar in "Casablanca"), gorgeous Adriatic inlets and coastlines, beautiful landscape shots, interesting machinery and Miyazaki's large cast of good natured friends and foes. Throw in master composer Joe Hisaishi's gorgeous score – romantic, easygoing, suggestive of the French Rivierra - and this film kills you with aesthetics.

    All of Miyazaki's other obsessions are here – flying, European/Mediterreanean towns, an aesthetic which suggests a fusion of time periods, little girls, air-planes, airships, Ozu-like still-life tableaux – except environmentalist preaching. The absence of this sermonising makes "Porcco Rosso", like "Kiki's Delivery Service", one of his most laid-back films. It's less about plot than it's about ambiance and environment. What little plot there is, is itself all suggestive; suggested romances, suggested pasts, suggested futures.

    The film is packed with great scenes, some of them resembling Carroll Ballard's "Wind", released the same year (one film revolves around building a boat, the other a plane). Beyond the film's dog fights and aerial battles you have Gina's wistful, aching love for Porcco, whom she affectionately calls by his human name, Marco (Gina's love, made wise by age, is mirrored to the young puppy love of a 17 year old girl). It's a weird interspecies love affair, peppered with flashbacks reminiscent of Leone's "A Fistfull of Dynamite".

    The film's "beauty and the beast" romance has led to much speculation as to why exactly Porcco is a pig. The film seems to say that Marco put a spell on himself: he views himself as a pig, as being unworthy of living, and it is only gradually, through the validation of others, that he comes to realise that he's not all that bad.

    In terms of the flaws, the film's villains are too idiotic. They're bumbling buffoons and their juvenility at times takes you out of the story. Incidentally, many fans of the film wage fierce battles over which of the film's dub tracks is better. Purists prefer the Japanese track, a few like the American track and many prefer the French. The French version, in which Jean Reno plays Porcco, is far better than the Japanese dub, and even Miyazaki thinks so himself. Personally, though, I think "Porcco Rosso" is the only Miyazaki film in which the American (or Disney) dubbing is much better than the original Japanese voice acting. Here, actor Michael Keaton plays Porcco, mixing a little Bat Man, pig and Bogart to great effect. Actress Susan Egan is also suitably classy as Gina.

    10/10 – For an alternate take on similar material, see Mamoru Oshii's underrated "The Sky Crawlers".
  • First of all, I've never seen the title "Kurenai no buta" except on IMDb. The English title on my copy and all other references I've found on the web are "Porco Rosso". Outside Japan, that's the title to look for at the video store.

    Let's see what we've got: an Italian Pig speaking Japanese, "Knock your socks off" aerial vistas, not one but two beautiful heroines, an Adriatic hotel that's actually a small island, better dialog than many "live" movies, sky pirates, even good music. How many films can claim all that?

    Perhaps the most attractive character of the film, after you've gotten past the many obvious ones, is Myazaki's amazing imagination which pervades all aspects of the production.

    To me, the storyline is reminiscent of Hollywood's Golden Age. The characters are wonderful, even to an adult audience and, of course, high quality animation is the frosting on the cake.

    After seeing Porco Rosso, I bought the DVD, and I hardly ever do that!
  • ardent-19 October 2002
    This was truly an emotional and unexpected experience. Having known Miyazaki has been influenced by Exupery(author of the little prince)I watched this film with a lump in my throat. A story of a PIG no less destined to live out his days in the sky, where his heart IS purified by the heavens above and the sea below. A beautiful film a love poem to Exupery and all the brave fliers who've come and gone.
  • Kurenai no Buta is, as anything else created by Hazao Miyazaki, a sublime work of art. However this film is very different from the rest of Miyazaki's work, as it aims at a grown-up and mature audience. The story is a metaphorical tale about the true nature of man and humanity. Set within the historical background of the rise of fascism in Italy, it is one of the most cleverly written animated film I've ever seen. As usual Miyazaki's boundless imagination brings on screen some colourful characters you're not likely to forget, among which a bunch of maverick but good hearted air pirates (very much like in Castle in th Sky). It also introduces more complicated characters, with real depth, like Porco or Madame Gina. The film also contains some amazingly beautiful and graphic sequences, with detailed landscapes seen from the sky and plane chase over the sea. This film gives a true meaning to Animated Film. It is without question a Must see.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This was indeed a beautiful film from Studio Ghibli. It had some really, nearly perfect visuals, some funny humor, and interesting concept, but there was a little something missing, preventing it from being one of my favorites, Hayao Miyazaki's films. Don't get me wrong, I like this movie, but I think this movie got under the hype that every Hayao Miyazaki film is supposed to be judge as good, just because fans love 1988's My Neighbor Totoro, so much. In my opinion, this movie is kinda overrated. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the film was originally planned as a short in-flight film for Japan Airlines based on Miyazaki's manga, 'The Age of the Flying Boat', but grew into a feature-length film. The movie doesn't really have much of a plot and because of that, the story kinda crash and burns. The plot somewhat revolves around an Italian curse World War I ex-fighter ace, Marco Rousolini AKA Porco Rosso (voiced by Shûichirô Moriyama in Japanese/ Michael Keaton in English) whom became half-man, half-pig after his compatriots were killed in battle. He is now a jaded womanizing bounty hunter rescuing ships and babies from the attacks of bumbling pirates across the Adriatic Sea. While, this sum-up sounds entertaining, in truth, the movie, sadly, has very little flying in it. It only has one-major action set piece in the film. The movie depicts most of airplane battles as childish and silly. Lots of bullets are fired, but nobody dies in this PG movie. Even airplane dog-fight, packed with innocent spectators on the ground, doesn't have one victim. Tons of property damage ensues, but somehow the stray gunfire only hits inanimate objects! Come on- movie. Take more a risk. Sadly, the movie never truly, goes anywhere, intense with its action. The odd collection of air pirates are more rivals than villains, and their screwball antics are played for comedy. Most of the film, has Porco repairing his ship with a female mechanic, Flo Piccolo (Voiced by Akemi Okamura in Japanese/ Kimberly Williams-Paisley in English), after being shot down by Donald Curtis (Voiced by Akio Ōtsuka in Japanese/ Cary Elwes in English), a cocky American fighter pilot who joins forces with the pirates. He hopes to get payback against Curtis, but the movie ignored that, for most of the film, to push the romantic overtures of both Flo & the cocktail singer Gina (Voiced by Tokiko Kato in Japanese/ Susan Egan in English) on him. We get it, Porco must learn to be least misogyny towards women. In other words, try not to be a pig. One of the film's biggest problems, is the lack of emotional connection. Honestly, all of Porco's relationships, don't seem real. It all seem a bit forced and kinda bland. Most people will say the picture's best emotional scene is Porco's backstory of what happened to him in the war. I have to agree, it was amazing. It is taken from a scene from Roald Dahl short story called They Shall Not Grow Old. Originally there are more be explained, but most of the serious tone of WW1 had to scrap off the storyboard because of the Yugoslavian wars of the early 1990s, due to it, being set in Croatia. Another great scene is Porco watching a cartoon in a darken movie theater. The cartoon depicts a Mickey Mouse Expy striving to save his girlfriend from a villainous pig in an airplane. The obvious metaphor is clear. It's a great moment in the film as we see the "pig" as a symbol of a man's alienation, loathing and despair. If you look deep in the film, you might find themes of redemption, loss and love to be very powerful in this, underneath the more fun surface. Sadly, it's not easy to find. The English voice acting is alright for the most part. Michael Keaton does a good job as Porco. He show the cynical side, very well. Still, I kinda like Jean Reno's French dubbing, more, as it was a little well-rounded performance. British actor, Cary Elwes as American, Curtis was mediocre, at best. The Southern accent was bit odd. It's goes in and out, throughout the film. It was really over-the-top Errol Flynnism. Not his best work, but it was watchable. The music to the film was amazing. Another masterpiece from composer Joe Hisaishi. The animation was OK, for the time. Hand by hand, drawings, is hard to do, and I just glad, everything, more so fluently. The only problem that I notice is that Flo looks very similar to Nausicaa from 1984's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, another Ghibli movie; Miyazaki has a tendency to recycle character models, and it shows here. I like how much the movie is a homage to early aviation. You really can tell that they did, their research. The movie was very accurate with the planes designs. However, there were some exaggerated. The end of the film was particularly unimpressive. I really hate that, it ends abruptly and didn't resolve, anything. Miyazaki has expressed interest in making a sequel. He plans to set it in the Spanish Civil War, calling the film's working title, Porco Rosso: The Last Sortie. As of this writing, the movie hasn't been made, or look like it ever will be, made. Still, the movie did influence, other works. One good example is Disney's Tale-Spin, TV show. Overall: This movie is too silly to be taken seriously. Honestly, this movie could have been amazing. It could had been, probably one of Miyazaki's best works, but with glaring plot holes, frustrating romances, and indecisive writing. It's not. Still, it's a warm, nostalgic fun film, even if it doesn't quite fly high enough.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I had been putting off watching Porco Rosso for quite some time. It wasn't so much that I was anticipating not liking it. Rather, it was more a trepidation that while good, Porco Rosso wouldn't quite measure up to the other Miyazaki films which I've loved.

    I should have known better.

    The simplicity of the cover, and the description of the plot that I had in my mind were so much less than what Porco Rosso contains. The marketing, advertising, and so forth, place emphasis on the struggle between Porco and the pirates of the Adriatic. The second point of plot typically mentioned is the "curse" that he has fallen under. In truth, neither of these things form the real backbone of the story: psychology is at the heart of this narrative.

    A film simply about a bounty hunter versus pirates could be a fine ride, if executed in a way which stirs. However, without the kind of psychological backdrop that we get in Porco's character, it wouldn't be possible to really move the audience. What raises this story from simply engaging to stirring, moving, is our main characters' relationship to their individual and shared pasts.

    In a really clever way, the film introduces this haunting aspect of the past not through the main character, but through the character of Gina. Of a similar generation, Gina introduces this idea during her first conversation with Porco, where she receives news that her husband has been confirmed dead, she seems unusually unemotional. As she expresses to Porco, she has shed so many tears already, that she finds she has no more left to give. The carnage of world war 1 and the vagaries of life in a world where fate can snatch love from us has left her emotionally drained.

    Where Gina is melancholy and stoic, Porco broods and isolates. As the sole survivor of a battle where Gina's first husband died, he feels personally responsible. This sort of survivor's guilt is reflected with his constant self-deprecation; constantly we see signs of him expressing a low sense of self-worth. He doesn't deny his skill as a pilot, but what he does deny is that he is in any way a "good guy." When Gina tells him that her husband didn't make it home alive, he responds "the good guys never do," making explicit this contrast between himself and a good guy.

    His profession as a mercenary is almost ideal for his state. It allows him to pretend that he's only in it for the money, while at the same time he has put himself in a position to do good works: saving children, defending the monied defenseless, etc. He does have a sense of morality, of course. We see this in his careful targeting of his opponents planes: he always aims to cripple and shoot down, never to kill the opposing pilot. It is difficult for him to see the evidence that we see, however. We understand the regret he feels as a sign of his ethical standards; he dismisses it out of hand. One imagines that, for him, that is a bare-minimum, rather than a characteristic that one can be proud of.

    The devices that film uses to achieve the character development of Porco can, at times, be a bit trite. The character of Fio is perhaps a bit too on-the-nose as the young idealist who, unshackled by a painful past, is able to help shake off some of the emotional armor that Porco has surrounded himself in. However, Miyazaki saves the character by simply writing her as an intelligent, brave, young woman whom the audience can both respect and relate to. Even more intelligently, although Fio develops an admiration for and a crush on Porco, this thread isn't really developed. As a character, Fio wouldn't really work as Porco's love interest. It would add on the additional cliché of older-man younger-woman and that would just take Miyazaki's use of common story devices too far.

    Gina is the more realistic love interest for Porco, and just as a sense of feminism imbues the character of Fio, so too does a sense of feminism shape Gina. Far from the virgin-whore duality that infects so many female characters, Gina is fully realized as a woman with hopes and desires, losses and memories, that make her an equal of Porco. She has been married, and she has known love, but this doesn't "spoil" her. Rather, it has matured her.

    Even more impressively, the relationship between Gino and Porco is based on friendship, a friendship which goes back to happier times. How refreshing to see romance kindled in such a realistic way, as compared to the constant barrage of films where characters either fall in love with each other for narrative convenience.

    As good as this movie is, I suspect that its greatest impact can be felt on those who are struggling with the emotions of Gina and Porco. To struggle with one's past is no uncommon thing, and those who are working to set aside feelings of loss and self-loathing will probably find the greatest amount of catharsis as Porco slowly comes to realize that he doesn't need to define himself as a pig any longer. Certainly, only those who have run out of tears will be able to fully appreciate the emotional desolation the Gina describes.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First of all, I want to clarify some misconceptions about the film that might have appeared in the comment section. First of all, the movie plays in the time frame after the rise of Fascism in Italy from 1922 on to before the second world war. There is a flashback scene playing in the World War I. In the end, there is a time lapse and they mention World War II.

    Secondly, the film is not a story about how a man got jinxed to be a pig. Marco having the appearance of a pig can be interpreted in different ways and is often used in word plays and ironic statements, like "better to be a pig than to be a Fascist". The reason why it was never explained is probably that it would be totally unnecessary or even harm the story, including the grand finale. It is the great strength of this movie that it does not want to cover all the stories details, but leaves in a very poetic way so much room for speculation and dreaming.

    The drawings are just beautiful in all of their details and animation and the music by the ever ingenious Joe Hisaishi surprises. While Hisaishi does take notes from European classical music, it is surprising how he managed to fusion his particular style of music with the nostalgia of the twenties and Italian and Austrian (or rather Dalmatian) influences.

    This movie is an absolute masterpiece in story telling, animation and music and is greatly underestimated. While other works of Ghibli might be cineastically great, they serve completely different audiences. What makes Porco Rosso so outstanding is that it realistically gives us viewers strong emotions about bygone days that actually never existed in the way they had been depicted and thus sends a strong message to everyone about things we might want to preserve, ideas of freedom,solitude, guilt, adventure and love that do actually exist.
  • There is not a great deal that I could add to what has been said about this movie. I was bowled over by it, as was my wife.

    As has been said before, it is not like any other animated feature that I have seen. I kept wondering who would play the leading role if this were a live movie. Porco (or Marco) is a great swashbuckling romantic hero. Perhaps the Humphrey Bogart of Casablance would be similar.

    I saw this in Japanese, not in English, and I think that might be the best way. The male characters use the sort of voice tone and inflection that I associate with samurai movies -- a loud and very gruff tone. That seemed to fit the movie very well. I can't imagine English language actors doing the same.

    I have now seen a number of Miyazawa's films, and am amazed each time.
  • Porco Rosso is a truly touching film with an absolutely amazing musical score. The closing credits song is to me one of Studio Ghibli's Finest Moments. I Liked the expressions used and Miyazaki has not skimped on detail.

    Anime Movies are the greatest animations because their is expressive detail and personalities shown with detail and movements.

    Porco Rosso has touched many with this epic that has an amazing storyline which starts from just a simple idea that really touches your heart.

    The Characters are sublime and they are true to their characteristics.

    My Favourite scenes have to be:

    1. The Closing Credits -(Truly touching). 2. All the women fixing the seaplane - (shows how feminism is truly important to Miyazaki).

    3.The Final Sentences from Fio - (She says just enough to show you what the ending will just be).

    Studio Ghibli has been successful once again and there is a very bright future up ahead from Anime.
  • tedg29 April 2010
    The things this filmmaker drops on the path, charm in their strangeness and that is good enough for me.

    I originally thought to write about the role of certain filmmakers in their films: how you can see over a number of films their foibles and fears, their attempts at self-analysis and completion. It is one of those many things about cinema that is interesting to a viewer, but it is not quite good enough material for a comment associated with a film. Even with Fellini we aren't interested in how his films transformed him as a soul, only how they transform us. IMDb needs a way to comment on or even write essays about a filmmaker.

    So instead I will write about something that factors into our story-of-watching as well as the filmmaker's.

    Stories carry us forward. They carry us because they entice with the impossibilities of what happens next which could be anything, combined with the conflicting certainty of the equally powerful urge that it will "end well." Any storyteller will eventually tell you about himself and the story he makes for himself. If he lives in cinema, well then he will literally live in cinema, thinking of himself in cinematic terms.

    I like Miyazaki. I like the imagination behind the images better than I am drawn to the skill and richness of their execution. You live their lives.

    Here we have some powerful fantasies: a redheaded intelligent younger woman that is smitten with him. An older woman, wise in the ways of the world patiently waiting for him to discover the possibilities. Self-loathing over missed opportunities. A love of living in dimension, mastering height in a visual way, seeing everyone before they see you.

    What a guy. The one movie is enough for you to like him. The genre urge pulls.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I confess to having been a bit let down by Porco Rosso. Perhaps I've been spoiled by the epic grandeur of Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke (or by the dreamlike wonder of Spirited Away), but this one seemed rather mundane at best, not to mention annoyingly incomplete.

    As many here have already noted, the film revolves around Porco's love life -- or lack thereof. Though he blusters about being a "notorious womanizer," he lives alone on a desert island, seems remarkably uncomfortable in the presence of women, and keeps the two outstanding beauties who love him at arm's length with droll, self-deprecating tough-guy sarcasm and feeble excuses. By the time we reach the end, all that relentlessly fatalistic wisecracking begins to feel uncomfortably close to a subtle form of whining, tending to make Porco less sympathetic than he might otherwise be.

    Given this focus on Porco's unfulfilling romances, some sort of logical closure on the subject is surely called for. Yet the most we ever get -- or do we? -- is a possible, minuscule, indication in the final scene that might or might not indicate that he ultimately returns to Gina. (Though personally, I find the spunky go-getter Fio a far more engaging heroine than the cool but essentially passive Gina). A bit of a fizzle after all the attention given to the subject during the story's unwinding.

    How did Porco acquire his curse in the first place? Well…don't ask, because you won't be answered. And though the story appears to take place sometime in the mid-Thirties, we're told that by the ending credits several wars have passed, and jets are flying over Porco's Mediterranean, yet an apparently recent movie poster of a seemingly un-aged Curtis in Forties style decorates a wall.

    Though we're supposed to think of Porco Rosso as being somehow more "adult" than Myazaki's other films, the nonthreatening Popeye-style villains keep dragging us back to the grade-school level, robbing the story of any real suspense. Too many unanswered questions; too little genuine conflict. Even the Master's artistry and imagination can't cover so many holes.

    On the plus side, Michael Keaton's dub as Porco is absolutely wonderful, possibly the best voice-over job I've ever heard. In fact, the entire voice cast delivers a collectively flawless performance. And, this being a Miyazaki film, the animation is, of course, superb. For those reasons alone, I'd classify Porco Rosso as a must-see -- but only once; repeated viewings only make the shortcomings of its script all the more glaring. It's a daring concept, but much as it pains me to say so, Porco Rosso promises far more than it can deliver.
  • Riveting and marvelous animated film by the genius cartoonist Hayao Miyazaki .This magnificent cartoon movie concerns about Porco Rosso legend, the adventures of a 1920's bush pilot in Italy , specifically on Adriatic sea , an era during Mussolini government , ruling the fascism , with air pirates, and high fliers of all sorts dominate the skies . It begins when who just happens to look like a humanoid pig , Porco Rosso , a previous Air Ace, he today is a bounty hunter and does a living flying contract jobs, such as rescuing those abducted little girls by air pirates. As hero Porco goes after the pirates, severely damaging their aircraft . Later on , Porco goes to the Hotel Adriano, where he deals with Gina, an old girlfriend who owns the wonderful resort on an island . Donald Curtis, Porco's contender in the air and in catching the affections of Gina , provides a constant challenge to the valiant Porco . Both of then will confront on the air taking place overwhelming chases , pursuits and dogfighting on the skies .

    This wonderful film is plenty of fantasy , adventures, spectacular dogfighting and with agreeable message . The picture is narrated with sensibility and sense of wonder and quite entertaining , as it is apt for small kids but no contains graphic violence as ¨Monokome-Hime¨. Compellingly made by Hayao Miyazaki who also directed other excellent cartoon movies as ¨Howl's moving castle, Chihiro, Nicky , Nausica of the valley of the wind , My neighbor Tororo¨ and many others . The film packs lively situations , hilarious scenes , spectacular images and culminating in an air confrontation with breathtaking ending . All roles have multiple dimensions and display really astonishing humanity .It picks up a big resonance , weight and breathtaking frames that make it all an awesome film . Never remotely didactic , the movie is ultimately an adventure/fantasy cartoon movie that touches brief thoughtful issues . The drawings have a special ancient touch that conveys the forgotten wisdom of the past that could really affect the way you interact with others and with the ambient . This stunning film with appropriate runtime , converted into one of the first of any kind to gross over the box office in Japan and all over the world.

    The motion picture was splendidly realized by Hayao Miyazaki and accompanied by the sensitive music score composed by his usual musician, Joe Hisaishi . Sensational and fantastic tale, it's a masterpiece animated movie , a great animation with an enjoyable meaning . Miyazaki wasn't yet a culture hero in Japan when made this animated mythic adventure ; later on , he directed ¨Princess Monokone¨converted the first of any kind to gross over the box office in Japan and around the world , it raised him to a status approaching living national treasure . Miyazaki also directed other excellent cartoon movies as ¨Lupin¨ (1978) , Castle of Cagliostro¨ (1979) , ¨Nausica of the valley of wind¨ , ¨Howl's moving castle¨ , ¨Laputa castle of the sky¨ ,¨Porco Rosso¨ , ¨Kiki's delivery service¨, ¨Chihiro¨ or ¨Spirited away¨: the highest grossing Japanese film ever , and this cult movie : ¨My neighbour Tororo¨ . ¨Kurenai no buta (1992) is one of a kind, if you enjoy interesting stories and have a soft spot for deep characters and well planed scenarios, you are in for a great one. Rating : Better that average , worthwhile watching ; advisable to see for children and adults who appeal the gorgeous drawings .
  • It is a time in the Mediterranean when sea planes still rule the skies and large areas are controlled by sky pirates, who run raids and kidnapping on passing ships. The only saving grace of the area is bounty hunter Porco Rosso (or The Crimson Pig) who is famed for his speed and skill. Suffering under a curse that turned him from a man into a pig, Rosso is the scourge of the pirates until they hire the services of American Curtis, award winning race pilot. Their first skirmish sees Rosso defeated and feared dead but, while Curtis gloats over his victory, Rosso returns to Italy where his favourite mechanic lives despite the outstanding arrest warrants for him in that country.

    Thanks to FilmFour becoming the first free-to-air film channel in the UK I was treated to a week of Miyazaki films, most of which I hadn't seen before. Kurenai no buta was the first one I watched because it looked like it would be the most fun. The story is an enjoyable tale of a dog fighting pig that works well as an adventure while also having enough invention and character to make it more than just a lot of noise and colour for kids. The adventure aspect is good though and has plenty of classy (ie not just silly and exaggerated) action and children should be easily distracted. Although not that deep, the film does have solid characters that have layers and humour. Rosso is a simple character perhaps but at least he is interesting and less obvious than most animated film leads. This made the film more engaging for me and meant that the film never dropped when the action was put on the backburner – in fact the strongest moments are humour and character based. Miyazaki directs with a great eye and unique style. The film is consistently visually impressive and, although the setting limits the imagination, it is still very much what it is.

    The English dub cast do a good job and, for all the criticisms of Disney in their handling of these films, credit to them for doing this right. Keaton makes for a good Rosso, playing him gruff and seemingly uncaring which was the right direction to go. Characters like this don't really ever crack and so Keaton does well to hold back while only hinting at the humanity within his character. Elwes is nicely cheesy as Curtis and works well. Williams is really fun as Fio and she provided a lot of energy once she joined in, certainly she was better than Egan who I found rather dull and unable to do much with her character. An unrecognisable Stiers makes for some nice comedy as master engineer Piccolo.

    Overall this was an enjoyable film. Perhaps not enough emotional depth to it to make it stand with Miyazaki's finest work but still a very engaging and entertaining family film with more than enough for children and a solid narrative and character foundation that will make it easy for adults to care about.
  • In my opinion the Disney "Porco Rosso" version with Michael Keaton is one of the finest films ever created. By the way, I love Jean Reno and I would imagine that the French version is probably just as well done. I would even imagine that the original Japanese version is also a masterpiece.

    What's really important is not the language, but that this is a magnificent work of art. The story and the graphics are extraordinary! This is a timeless film. This is a classic! This film deserves to be in the top ten movies of all time.

    Fortunately, I am not alone in my praise of Porco Rosso. Respected critics from all over the world are loudly singing its praises.

    This is not just animation. This is not just anime. This is the fabulous result of an incredible imagination coupled with the mind of a creative genius!

    My advice ... Don't miss it !!!
  • einhelg1 September 2018
    Porco Rosso is one of studio Ghibli's most underrated movies. Set in Italy in between the world wars, the movie has just like the other Ghibli movies amazing animation, music and a story. It's fun and entertaining for all ages
  • This is the first film of Studio Ghibli's that I've seen and I think it is still my favourite. It is just a stunning and beautiful film about a pilot pig vigilante and his escapades in an Italy turning into despotic fascist state. It is just really beautiful.
  • rjm-geo12 October 2012
    Of the Miyazaki canon, several films are often put forward as the "best one". The anime fans usually tip the epic "Nausicaa", while most regular Japanese people go with the nostalgic masterpiece "Totoro". People with less emotional connections with the older works will tell you "Spirited Away". For a solid minority though, including myself, "Porco Rosso" will always be no. 1.

    The main reason: the narrative here is not carried by children, who, in Miyazaki films, are nearly always portrayed as uncomplicated, morally perfect little heroes. As charming as they are, once the action stops things get boring really quickly. In Porco Rosso, the characters are fun, memorable, and often deeply touching.

    Second reason: Miyazaki is at his best when he's directing in the air: the epic air battles in Nausicaa, the fantastic flying ships in Laputa, ... and in Porco Rosso he's in the air almost ALL THE TIME! Everything about the planes is done just so ... damn... well. Exhibit A is the opening sequence. The pacing is sublime. The camera movements and animation of the planes in flight, breathtaking. Best opening scene of any movie I have ever seen, bar none.

    Like many Miyazaki films, it wanders a bit too much in the middle section and has a weak, contrived third act. Unlike many Miyazaki films, though, it has the good sense to end on the offbeat, rather than spell a generic happy ending out point by point.

    The attraction of this film is the escapism, the unabashed romanticism: we can so easily imagine we are Marco, flying our red seaplane to Madame Gina's island hotel under the starry Mediterranean sky. The animation, characters, music, and overall attention to details draw us in to this world, time after time.
  • I believe this was the first Studio Ghibli film I ever saw. I remember being blown away by the excellent story telling, the animation and the general feeling of the whole thing. From then on I was hooked and made it a bit of a mission to see as many of them as I could. Well, that's not hard when Film4 (here in the UK) has been showing a season of them for the last couple of weeks. I'll give you my thoughts on this particular offering after this brief summary.

    Porco Rosso is a pilot; a bit of a hero from World War I who now makes a living as a bounty hunter. He tracks down the sea plane pirates who attack the ships on the Adriatic Coast (a part of the Mediterranean). It is the 1920's and flying is what everyone wants to do. At a bar run by Gina, who secretly loves him, Porco meets an American fighter ace, Curtis, who has been hired by the pirates to take him out. But Porco has problems with his plane and has to take it to Milan to be repaired. Curtis follows him and shoots him down, leaving him stranded. When he's picked up he makes it to Milan with what's left of his plane and has it rebuilt by Fio Pikkoro, a seventeen year old girl who just happens to be a very talented engineer. When he returns, Fio comes with him to make sure he pays his bill. Little does she know they're about to have another run-in with the pirates and this time they're playing for keeps! I won't say any more or the Spoiler Police (Animation Division) will have me re-drawn as some crazy animal (again).

    Over the years I have become a bit of a fan of the work of Hayao Miyazaki, he certainly knows how to make a movie that can take you away to another world for a couple of hours. Again, this one is beautifully animated and I also loved the music by Joe Hisaishi, it really evokes the era and stirs the emotions. I watched this one in Japanese with subtitles and I think that helps you to concentrate on the story. For those who fear the subtitle I believe a dubbed version is available. It's not really clear just who played who from the listings I've seen, but I will give honourable mentions to the voice talents of; Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô, Tsunehiko Kamijô and Akemi Okamura.

    I found this film beautifully made, funny at times, but also very touching when it needed to be. It certainly did what many of the Studio Ghibli films have done and that is entertain me! I must admit I feel lucky that I saw this one first; others that don't quite hit the mark may have put me off. So it's got a bit of everything, a flying pig, some comedy, a bit of a love story and pirates, who could ask for more!? As you have probably guessed by now, for me… Definitely recommended.

    My score: 8.4/10.

    IMDb Score: 7.8/10 (based on 16,525 votes at the time of going to press).

    Rotten Tomatoes 'Tomatometer' Score: 100/100 (based on 13 reviews counted at the time of going to press). Rotten Tomatoes 'Audience' Score: 60/100 (based on 40,738 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Porco Rosso is a sympathetic nod from a middle-aged man to his contemporaries, to all the guys who had the same dreams of changing the world, getting the girl, and winning the race, and somehow found themselves transformed into stout, middle-aged men with not much to show for all those ideals and dreams. It's also a wonderful children's film. There's a wonderful cast of characters. Every frame is well crafted, with some of the most marvelous aerial sequences ever animated and skies so exquisite the background painters should be designing for God. Joe Hisaishi's score is perfectly matched to the flow of every scene. The script is nicely paced, with the gradual, almost casual building of the main characters flowing so naturally from the action that it looks effortless. The director's political and social concerns are as clear as ever. Ultimately it's Porco Rosso's magnificent flying machines that are the star turns here. Their sleek designs, based on 1920s Italian models, and their thrilling animation are where Hayao Miyazaki's imagination really takes flight.
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