In 1930s Italy, two pilots, one an American, the other a living legend called Porco Rosso after a curse turned him into a cross between a human and a pig, keep competing for the skies. This film didn’t find its way to many European countries until after director Hayao Miyazaki had turned into a more widely known and appreciated filmmaker. It’s definitely worth a look. The flying scenes are vividly animated, the film has a nice sense of humor and there’s movie magic at work, not only because of the pig curse, but also as a general feeling in some of the more emotional scenes. Very charming, not least the subdued Porco Rosso himself.
1992-Japan. Animated. 95 min. Color. Produced by Rick Dempsey. Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Voices of Shûichirô Moriyama (Porco Rosso), Tokiko Kato (Jini-sama), Sanshi Katsura (Pikkoro-oyaji), Greg Ellis, Tsunehiko Kamijô, Akemi Okamura.
Trivia: Original title: Kurenai no buta. Miyazaki allegedly first planned this to be a short in-flight movie for Japan Airlines. Michael Keaton, Brad Garrett and Cary Elwes provided voices for the English-speaking version; Jean Reno for the French.
Last word: “[Pigs are] much easier to draw than camels or giraffes (laughs). I think they fit very well with what I wanted to say. The behaviour of pigs is very similar to human behaviour. I really like pigs at heart, for their strengths as well as their weaknesses. We look like pigs, with our round bellies. They’re close to us.” (Miyazaki, Midnight Eye)