Porco Rosso is an animated film about a plane flying pig named Porco who used to be human but ended up getting cursed and it turned him into a pig. Porco also happens to be a bounty hunter whom often protect cruise ships from a gang of pirates who like to steal gold and take hostages. While Porco isn't flying his plane or battling pirates he likes to stop by at his favorite bar and hang out with his dear old friends. One night at the bar while watching his friend Gina sing he is introduced to an American pilot named Curtis. Porco has a bad feeling about the guy and then it cuts to the next day with Porco tuning into the radio to hear the pirates challenging him. Porco takes off in his plane only to run into none other than Curtis. After getting into a dogfight with Curtis we see Porco's plane getting shot to shreds and he ends up in Italy where he hopes in getting his plane fixed. Porco knows the right person to go to and gives his old friend named Mr. Piccolo a visit. Fixing his plane is not going to be cheap as it is at the point where they might as well build a new plane altogether. Mr. Piccolo introduces Porco to the person that will be working on his plane and that person is none other than Mr. Piccolo's granddaughter named Fio. Will Porco get his ride working and get out of Italy? Will he take revenge on Curtis? Will Porco ever be human again? (Click "Read More" to read the full review).
The story in this film is very basic and easy to watch which is one of the things I love about this film as I can sit down and enjoy a nice straight to the point story without my brain getting hurt. I was also very mesmerized due to how fun this film was and I enjoyed it from the time the film started all the way to the closing credits as there isn't a dull moment to be found in this film whatsoever. There's a very decent amount of action and boy is it good with a mixture of air battles between planes and a very excellent hand to hand combat scene towards the end of the film. The characters in this movie are very good and really charming and you can't help but to keep a huge smile on your face while watching them interact with each other. There actually isn't anything bad I can say about this film really without going out on a limb and be a real nitpicker.
Artwork and animation in this film is absolutely brilliant and is full of charm, life, and a buck load of detailing. One good example on how well the art and animation blend together well is during the scene when Porco was testing out his new plane engine. The way they drew in the force of the wind caused by the engine and how everything in the background was moving around in perfect response to the wind. Character designs are also really good and really unique that stand out and you get a very magical vibe from just by looking at them. The English dub is really good and I was surprised to see that they used some bigger starts for this film including Michael Keaton ("Batman (1989)" and "Jack Frost (1998)") and Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond (1996 - 2005)" and "The Crazy Ones (2013)". The dub actually impressed me as they really worked well with the characters and now I can't see anybody but this cast voicing these characters. Soundtrack was very nice and worked with all the scenes very well and really added to the film's atmosphere.
There is a short but sweet collection of special features. You have an interview with the producer "Toshi Suzuki" that originally aired on Japanese television back in 1992 and a feature called "Behind the Microphone" where we see interviews of the American voice cast. Both documentaries were very good with some neat little info about the film. You also get all the original Japanese theatrical trailers which were all very nice to watch. Lastly you have a special PIP (picture in picture) mode where you can see the storyboards on the bottom right corner of the screen while watching the film. The artwork was very nice and it gives you a very decent reason to re-watch the film.
Overall this film is a classic and I recommend everybody who has yet to see it go out and watch it even if you're not a fan of anime. For those who have seen it should go out and watch it again as this film deserves multiple viewings. This film is safe for both kids and adults to watch and does make for a good film to show to the entire family. I'm not normally the one to go out and say "film x" or "series y" is a perfect film or show but this movie is pretty darn close to being a perfect film. This film is a must watch indeed.
Title: Porco Rosso
Animation Studio: Studio Ghibli
Genre: Animation/Anime, Drama, Action, Comedy
Running Time: 93 minutes
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (www.madman.com.au)
Rating: PG (Low level violence)