Porco Rosso

Tagline : A pig's got to fly.

Runtime : 93 mins

Genre : Family Comedy Animation Adventure

Vote Rating : 7.8/10

Plot : In Italy in the 1930s, sky pirates in biplanes terrorize wealthy cruise ships as they sail the Adriatic Sea. The only pilot brave enough to stop the scourge is the mysterious Porco Rosso, a former World War I flying ace who was somehow turned into a pig during the war. As he prepares to battle the pirate crew's American ace, Porco Rosso enlists the help of spunky girl mechanic Fio Piccolo and his longtime friend Madame Gina.

Cast Members

Reviews

On the face of it, this is just another sublimely drawn Ghibli effort about a cursed creature - this time a pig - that flies a seaplane around the islands of 1930s Italy chasing air-pirates. Once you get in to it, though, it develops into a really cleverly woven story that offers us layers of characterisation from even this simplest of it's characters. The "pig" is sagely, cunning and adept as a pilot, frequently coming to the rescue of those kidnapped... He has a rival - the handsome American "Donald Curtis" who is out to steal not just his crown, but his gal! What ensues is an adventure film with loads of action; an healthy and lively dose of what might loosely be described as romance; plenty of pithily written dialogue and some beautiful animation. The story can be straightforward, but there is plenty of depth to the plot if you feel like looking for it. We are never explicitly told why he has been cursed, nor does the ending necessarily offer us complete satisfaction either - though it does come at then end of quite a fun duel between the two fliers. A lot of what we get from this film will depend on what we notice - there are plenty of subtleties to be had that are probably more obvious and/or meaningful on the second or even the third time of watching. "Howl's Moving Castle" (much later from 2004) is still my favourite from this studio, but this is a close run second and really well worth a watch - on a big screen if you can, this brings out the vivacity and vitality of this superior animated feature.

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