Porco Rosso Review
Many might not recognize the name Porco Rosso when looking at Studio Ghibli’s filmography, but those who have actually seen the film would recognize it as one of their best. Porco Rosso is a uniquely fun adventure that brings a great group of characters together to tell a high-flying and action-packed story.
After being cursed to have the head of a pig, veteran WWI pilot Porco Rosso (Michael Keaton) now resides as a famous bounty hunter. With both the Italian government and a crew of sky pirates wanting Rosso knocked out of the sky for good, the pirates hire a crafty and cocky American pilot named Curtis (Cary Elwes) to take out Rosso. Now with everyone hot on his tail, Rosso must unwillingly trust a young female engineer, Fio (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), to take down Curtis and reclaim his honor.
Porco Rosso is unlike most “bounty hunter” characters that we generally see throughout the film industry. Typically, these characters try to play off their flaws and issues with great one-liners and cool persona. However, Rosso isn’t like this and actually understands his own personal flaws. He is a little crass, sexist, a womanizer, single-minded, and is a character that most people wouldn’t like at first glance. But because of how his character changes throughout the film and how his interactions evolve with everyone around him, viewers will find themselves actually caring for him by the time the film’s finale comes around.
Rosso is also the perfect kind of character to engage in epic fight sequences and some dazzling animated moments that make the film memorable. Moments are constantly building and the stakes keep getting a little higher. Not to mention, there really isn’t anything better than watching a good old fashioned dogfight between two veteran pilots.
The voice acting is also probably one of the best things Porco Rosso has to offer. Keaton does an excellent job conveying Rosso’s personality and bringing the character to life. The rest of the cast help bring together a great cast of characters that offer up some great laughs and quality pig puns towards Porco.
Porco Rosso also keeps with Studio Ghibli’s trends of having some adult themes being seen throughout the film and some intelligent younger characters. It’s something that isn’t seen much in American animated films and will keep audiences engaged into what is happening on-screen. Not to mention, this film also carries a reference to the studio in it, which is rarely seen in the studio’s other films.
It’s a shame that many don’t know about Porco Rosso as it is one of Studio Ghibli’s best. It carries memorable themes, worthwhile characters, and stunning animation that make it a true must-see regardless if you’re a fan of the studio’s work or not.