Porco Rosso Poster

Apologies for the delay, I ended up scrapping the old post I was working on and starting this from scratch to match my older format.

Porco Rosso, or The Crimson Pig for those of you who recognise it by its English title, is a Miyazaki movie I find myself coming back to year after year.

Porco Rosso is the story of a former World War 1 ace turned mercenary who roams the Adriatic skies.

So what’s it like?

The Good

  • Political subtext
  • Gender issues
  • Charmingly funny
  • Epic flight scenes
  • Fantastic old school animation
  • Has that classicĀ adventure film feel with plenty of heart
  • Funny and interesting cast (both main and support members)
  • No “proper” villain, or I suppose no central antagonist, and the film still works

The OK

  • The “open” ending may not be to everyone’s taste
  • Some parts of the English dub are a bit too on-the-nose
  • Children will get less out of it than older viewers

The Bad

  • Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

Final Thoughts

Firstly, since many people think of Studio Ghibli as the “Disney of the East”, let me just clear this up: Porco Rosso may not be on the same level as Princess Mononoke when it comes to not being suitable for kids, but there is definitely some content in the movie which some parents may take issue with (smoking, drinking, a tiny bit of old fashioned womanising for example). I personally have no issue with many of the more mature themes in the film, and in most cases they will simply fly over the heads (pun intended) of any younger audience members.

In regards to the movie itself, I often find myself wondering if Porco Rosso is not my favourite Miyazaki film. It didn’t have the same initial impact as Princess Mononoke did on me, but it’s a movie I find myself frequently coming back to thanks to its surprising depth, beautiful hand-drawn animation, amazing dogfights, and the often subtle humour.

Like many of Studio Ghibli’s movies, this is a simply a great film. Regardless of whether you enjoy anime or not, if you like your movies with a whole lot of adventure, some awesome aerial acrobatics, and a fair amount of old school heart, be sure to check out Porco Rosso.

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