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Kurenai no Buta

Porco Rosso
The Crimson Pig

Japan 1992
produced by
Toshio Suzuki, Yoshio Sasaki (executive), Sokai Tokuma (executive), Yasuyoshi Tokuma (executive), Matsuo Toshimitsu (executive) for Studio Ghibli, Nibariki, Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network (= NTV), Toho, TNNG, Japan Airlines
directed by Hayao Miyazaki
written by Hayao Miyazaki, music by Joe Hisaishi

anime

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Marco was an ace Italian fighter pilot in World War I, but when he was shot down, he didn't go to heaven (or hell) but was sent back to earth as a pig, and these days he's known to patrol the Adriatic Sea in his custom-made red airplane fighting air pirates wherever he can find them, and duelling himself with American fighter ace Curtis, with both of them being in love with beautiful bar singer Gina. During one such duels, Porco's plane's engine short cuts and he's pretty much a sitting duck target and manages to save himself and his plane rather by accident than skill. And while Curtis is fighting his ultimate victory over Porco Rosso, Porco gets his plane back to Grandpa Piccolo's workshop, who has the repairs and improvements done by his 17 year old niece Fio, whom Porco only learns to accept and like by the by, but who of course does an ace job. Eventually, Porco takes Fio back with him as co-pilot and in-house mechanic, and she proves a valuable assess when he finds his island hide-out overrun by air pirates, but she manages to unite them to organize a duel to last-man-standing between Porco and Curtis - which they're ultimately having with the fleet of newly Fascist Italy (which both pilots despise) closing in on their location ...

 

Basically another masterpiece by Hayao Miyazaki that has all of his trademark elements firmly in place, like the blending of the trivial with the magical, beautiful animation, breath-taking action setpieces, detail-rich backgrounds, colourful characters (both literally and figuratively), great character designs, and a good portion of humour. What sets this one somewhat apart from other Miyazaki movies is that it's set in a very specific historic era and location, and is not only based on events from that era and area (even if it takes liberties with history as such), but also pays hommage to yesteryear's cinema (animation as well as live action), without ever giving up Miyazaki's very distinct style though. So yeah, pretty much another masterpiece, and a must-see for sure!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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