Movie #62 2020: Porco Rosso (1992)

So in the upcoming bunch of entries, you may notice that I’ve been making more of an effort to watch animated movies.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. Disney+ launched in the UK last week!!!
  2. The whole country is in a weird state of semi-lockdown, so there are a lot of kids off school and you probably need to know which movies are worth their (and your!) time.
  3. My past as a tiny human was not filled with enough animated/kids movies because I just watched Mary Poppins over and over again.

This time round, I bring you another charming Studio Ghibli release that was brought to Netflix at the start of March: Porco Rosso.

Slightly different to the other Ghibli films I’ve seen, Porco is more adult in theme. It entails the story of a man who was cursed and transformed into a walking, talking pig. Think it couldn’t get any weirder? Well, I forgot to mention that he is an ex-World War One fighter pilot who now works as a bounty hunter. If nothing else, the story line in this one is very imaginative.

What is extra special about the extremely odd story is that it actually works. As ever, Ghibli manage to perfect the art of storytelling and it makes for a very fascinating film.

Michael Keaton and Susan Egan lend their vocal talents to the English dub on Netflix, and they couldn’t have picked two actors more well-suited to the characters. The dialogue is clever, and the quips are delightfully funny. Rounding it off, the soundtrack is just astounding. Not only is it perfectly placed, but it really made me want to go to Italy. It’s truly excellent.

My personal rating shot right up after one particular sequence in which Porco tells his new companion about his time in the Air Force during the Great War. It’s an extremely moving piece of animation, focusing on a glittering stream of planes circling the stratosphere. It may not sound like much, but it completely boosted my thoughts of the movie. A truly stunning spectacle, I’d recommend this movie based on that scene alone.

Again, this might not be suitable for your youngest children. Porco smokes, and makes a few sexist jokes after all. But for anyone 12 and over? Yep, they should definitely add it to their watchlists.

Porco Rosso is available on Netflix UK.

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