Porco Rosso Review
Miyazaki proves that pigs can fly as he turns his hand to sky pirates and seaplanes over the ocean
Movies reviewMaster animator Hayao Miyazaki proves that pigs do fly when he turns his artisan hand towards a typically unconventional tale that centres on a former World War I pilot who happens to be a pig. Boasting a showreel of classics that include Princess Mononoke, Howls Moving Castle and Spirited Away, Miyazaki's skill at crafting unusual and thoroughly captivating stories is inarguable, and though not one of his most commercially successful projects, Porco Rosso is undoubtedly one of his hidden gems that will have fans of Spirited Away giddy with excitement upon the discovery of it.
Perhaps a contender for Miyazaki's most personal project, it charts the adventures of Porco Rosso, a hired seaplane pilot who earns his living by protecting cruise ships from unsavoury sky bandits. Feared by the Sky Pirates, they decide to hire a flying ace of their own to take him down. Rosso's skills are put to the test against his dashing American rival, and he finds that despite having been a solo pilot for so long, he now needs the help of a young mechanic to aid him in fixing up his trusty sea plane before an epic and fantastically choreographed finale that see's the two flying aces pit their wits against one another in the clouds above the deep blue sea.
Unmistakably Miyazaki, it bears all the hallmarks we've come to expect from the acclaimed director. It's heartfelt, honest and magical. Though Miyazaki tends to favour the slower form when it comes to story telling, he still manages to pace the action perfectly from start to finish. An often overlooked classic, both young and old will enjoy this relatively lesser known classic from one of the genre's true masterminds.