ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Porco Rosso

Updated on March 11, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 1992, Hayao Miyazaki released Porco Rosso, based off the watercolor manga Hikotei Jidai, also written by Miyazaki. Starring Shuichiro Moriyama, Akio Otsuka, Tokiko Kato, Tsunehiko Kamijo, Sanshi Katsura, Akemi Okamura, Reizo Nomoto, Osamu Saka, and Yuu Shimaka with Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes, Susan Egan, Brad Garrett, David Ogden Stiers, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Bill Fagerbakke, Kevin Michael Richardson and Frank Welker providing English voices, the film was the #1 film on the Japanese market for 1992, earning 2.8 billion in distribution income. It was selected as the Prix du long metrage at the 1993 Annecy International Animated Film Festival and made Time Out’s list of Top 50 animated films.


Veteran World War I flying ace and freelance bounty hunter Marco Pagot has been transformed into an anthropomorphic pig due to an unusual curse and is now known as Porco Rosso. Though he makes his living flying a crimson seaplane and doing battle with pirates, they hire an American actor named Donald Curtis to take him down. Now, pursued by a fascist military he deserted long ago, he takes the fight to the pirates with a teenaged sidekick named Fio.


Though a bit stranger than other films put out by Studio Ghibli, Porco Rosso managed to continue the studio’s reputation as a fantastic film. It presents a wonderful inner personal conflict within its main character and his turmoil over something he can’t forgive himself for that he did during the war. He sees a battle in which he survived and the rest of his squad didn’t, with him retreating after everyone else had been shot down, as his greatest failure and believes himself a coward because of it. As such, it’s made him into a cynic that thinks he’s nothing but a bloated fiend that doesn’t deserve a happy ending. His feelings about himself can be seen when he’s watching an Italian propaganda film that’s blatantly against him and he ends up calling it a great movie. What’s very interesting is that the film implies he begins to see something in himself during the climax when Gina shows up while Porco and Curtis are having their brawl. While the audience doesn’t see it, Curtis’ face after Gina declares her love for the latter and he ends up winning said fight implies that he has forgiven himself and he realizes he’s more than he thinks he is, causing Porco to become Marco once more.

What’s really interesting is even though Porco hates himself through most of the film, he still sees his desertion from the fascist military as an honorable thing, shown when he says he’d rather be a pig than a fascist. It’s a notable point made by Miyazaki in how a man may believe himself to be the world’s greatest failure and undeserving of any form of happiness but that doesn’t mean that he can’t choose to take the high ground. It’s a great method to show that anyone is capable of making the right choice if they so choose to.

The film’s main women, Gina and Fio, are also very interesting characters. For one, the former is able to run a café where she’s able to keep both the pirates and Porco at bay from each other and have neither party make any trouble. The film also shows how much they both respect and find her attractive as when it looks like a fight is about to start, all she needs to do is gently remind them and they settle down and fall over themselves while doing so. How all the pirates around the fight between Curtis and Porco at the end make way for her as she’s coming through also speaks to how Gina commands respect. As for Fio, she may be a teenager, but she’s very strong-willed and is quite accomplished in her aviation mechanics capabilities. What’s more is she’s seen as being the eternal optimist, shown when she’s thinking of ways to help turn Porco back into a human, which involves thinking that their lives are like the Frog Prince.

The pirates are also quite the characters, seeing as they’ve got a lot of honor and depth to them and they aren’t just the remorseless plunderers seen in other films. This can all be seen in the beginning of the film when they may take an entire class of little girls hostage, but they don’t hurt them and actually take the whole class because they don’t want to split any of them up.

5 stars for Porco Rosso

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)