Porco Rosso (1992) – [subtitled]
For the next few weeks I’ll be watching all the Studio Ghibli films. Some again, some for the first time.

This film will transport you to through the clouds and back to Europe in the 1930’s! You’ll cheer at the heroics of a Bogart-ish, WWI flying ace, who just happens to be a pig and laugh at good-hearted sea pirates stealing children for ransom! There is so much packed in this film, love, adventure, honor, curses, hidden coves, dogfights, bare-knuckle boxing, fascists, bounty hunters, pirate gangs, and a final duel that determine the fate of everyone. This film cannot help but lift the spirits of its viewers. But unlike any Miyazaki film that’s come before, there is a real sense of fun. Also, unlike past films, it feels like it’s aimed slightly more to a grown-up, mature audience.

Porco Rosso is a perfect mix of reality and fantasy, Casablanca with a splash of Beauty and the Beast. It’s less about plot than it’s about ambiance, although it explores some very interesting ideas. Shame, not accepting one’s self and how we continuously punish ourselves. Forgiveness, and how putting the past behind us is the only way to grow and change. Love, both the old, wise, grown-in kind, as well as the infatuation and eagerness of a newly discovered gem. And strong women, it’s so fantastic to see this trend continue in Miyazaki films, and in Porco Rosso it’s even more prominent.

Once again, Miyazaki delivers exactly the same wonderance in a very different package. I highly recommend everyone checking out Porco Rosso.