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Porco Rosso - 5.97

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

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 5:
Great to look at : 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.

Rating: 3:
A Pig's Got To fly : I'd heard so many great things about `Porco Rosso' and in many ways it lives up to those positive comments. Whenever I sit down to watch a Studio Ghibli movie I haven't seen before I tend to have a small doubt as to whether I'll find it as enjoyable as I always have every other film from that studio I've seen previously. Always those doubts are quashed within moments. No matter the director, even if it's not Miyazaki, no matter the story, even if it's not particularly magical, I have always found each of them a pleasure to view. Like all the rest `Porco Rosso' is an inexplicably calming experience, but at the same time rousing with a level of audience involvement surprising for an animated feature.

Once again here the music is blended seamlessly and scored perfectly throughout the film, the beauty in the vista's is so serene it's almost breath-taking and the action is as always...frantic. Surprisingly, my slight disappointment with the film was due to the plot and the crimson pig's curse, which is never fully explained or resolved. I was quite pleased that the film began with no explanation as to how he was transformed and also that subtle clues were dropped only occasionally as exposition to his strange state of being, which treated the viewer in a very complimentary way. But I was more than a little dumbfounded when the ending came and no mention was made of his future life when each of the other characters were rewarded with a future glimpse; did he ever come to lift the curse, did he even in fact live beyond the scene in which he made his final, brief appearance? You'd have to see it to know what I mean and although I struggled against it, I have to admit that it dampened my enjoyment of a thoroughly enjoyable film.

Very impressive nonetheless. 3 stars in comparison to the other Ghibli's I've seen. Easily 4 stars as a general movie experience.

Rating: 4:
Porco Rosso : This is yet another brilliant animation from the Ghibli stable. It has the high quality animation we've come to expect, and has some amazing airplane and flight scenes. The story is a little slower than most Ghibli films (hence only four stars) and I found myself a little bored in the middle, but it is well worth persevering with. It is one that could be enjoyed by kids as well as adults and the talking pig makes for some amusing scenes. Worth a try if you're fan of Ghibli and Japanese animation.

Rating: 5:
one of the funniest Studio Ghibli films iv seen : 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!

Rating: 3:
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 Miyazaki's work which I feel are more balanced in that respect.

I rarely like the dubbed versions, but did find Michael Keatons voice was very well suited to the central character.

The animation, as always with Studio Ghibli, is superb and the flight scenes are quite breathtaking. The story was not lost on me, but I did find myself skipping through bits out of boredom.
Not the best of work from Studio Ghibli, but by no means a terrible piece of animation work. I just didn't enjoy the story as much as others from Studio Ghibli.

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