Having been a WWI flying ace, Porco Rosso finds himself stuck with the features of a pig thanks to a magical curse. It doesn't stop him from living his life on his terms; sunning himself on the beach of the island he calls home and frequenting the bar in town of an evening where singer Gina is close to him. And in-between those things he is a pilot for hire, a flying bounty hunter whose skills in the air make him a real pain in the butts of the hostage taking flying pirates. Wanting to rid themselves of Porco the pirates hire movie idol and flying mercenary Donald Curtis to force him out of the sky. With this old plane struggling to cope with a duel in the sky Porco has to call on his family to help.
Movies I like are those which make me lose track of time and that is what "Porco Rosso" does which considering we are talking Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki it shouldn't be a surprise. In fact "Porco Rosso" turned out as more of a surprise for Hayao Miyazaki as originally he was asked to make a short in-flight movie for Japan Airlines to keep businessmen entertained. But Miyazaki expanded on it thinking he was making an animation for grown ups yet the final product won the hearts of children. Maybe that is part of the reason I enjoy "Porco Rosso" as it is simple enough for young children but with the detail which makes Miyazaki's movies adored by adults as well.
Now I said "Porco Rosso" is simple and it is, we have a flying pig, some pirates who want rid of him, some air duels and .... well just watch it because if you still find yourself once in a while wistfully reminiscing about being a child then you are going to enjoy the simplicity of it all but also its engaging, beautiful nature as well as the tale of adventure.
There is also a small matter of the detail and once again Miyazaki offers up amusing characters, beautiful back drops but also some fantastic animations of planes in flight. If I say that "Porco Rosso" is typical it is in fact a compliment because Miyazaki's animations are rarely anything other than beautiful. What isn't so beautiful is the voicing especially of the American version as whilst the likes of Michael Keaton and Brad Garrett are well chosen the dialogue rarely fits the mouth movements which is a shame.
What this all boils down to is that "Porco Rosso" is another wonderful movie from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli which works for all ages thanks to a simple adventure story and the incredible visual detail. Yes there are issues but when you watch a movie with no idea of how long it has been on that is a good sign that it works.