In Early 1930's era Italy air pirates, bounty hunters and high fliers of all sorts rule the skies. The most cunning and skilled of these pilots is Porco Rosso. A former Ace, he now makes a living flying contract jobs, such as rescuing those kidnapped by air pirates. Donald Curtis, Porco's rival in the air and in catching the affections of women, provides a constant challenge to the hero, culminating in a hilarious, action packed finale.Written by
Porco Rosso's plane engine has the brand Ghibli stamped, and although there isn't such an engine, the animation studio's name was taken from an Italian airplane, the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli, which had double Alfa-Romeo engines. See more »
Near the end of the film when Porco and Curtiss are fight in their planes they crash into a tower, which sends up a variety of international flags. The United States of America flag that appears during this sequence has only 11 stripes and 20 stars, a configuration that never existed. (There were 20 stars on the flag in 1818-1819, but 13 stripes. It's unlikely this is mean to be a rare, nearly 100-year-old flag that has lost it's bottom two stripes.) Most likely it is a simplification for animation. See more »
"Porco Rosso" is probably the first animated Humphrey Bogart film. Why? The title character, a WWI flying ace who has been transformed into a pig, reminded me of Bogart with his gruff manner and that world-weary cynicism that instantly endears us to Bogart. "Porco Rosso" is also a highly entertaining adventure film, and Miyazaki has once again created a slew of characters you can either cheer for or hiss vehemently at them.
The US dub is done particularly well (Disney tends not to muck Miyazaki's movies up most of the time), with Michael Keaton hitting that Bogart vibe as the title character. Keaton was obviously the first choice on the dubber's mind for this character, and he performs excellently. Susan Egan is the voice of Madame Gina, Porco's friend who loves him but he doesn't quite get it. Cary Elwes, who is of course British, does a convincing Southern accent as the movie's main villain, Curtis, a hotshot American pilot who challenges Porco. David Ogden Stiers shows off his vocal chameleon skills as Piccolo, Porco's mechanic friend; Stiers's voice sounds genuinely Italian, and I must again wonder: How does he do it? Anyway, moving on. Kimberly Williams, whom you may or may not remember from the Steve Martin version of "Father of the Bride", is spunky as Fio, the other main female character who becomes Porco's partner (albeit reluctantly on his part).
All in all, "Porco Rosso" is a highly entertaining movie, and it should be seen by everyone.
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