TV Party Tonight! #39

TV Party Tonight! #39

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Porco Rosso [Blu-ray]


Hayao Miyazaki is an absolute cinematic powerhouse. Whether you’re a fan of movies, Japanese culture, animation, kids movies, or fantasy, chances are you’ve been exposed to his work in some form or another.  If you haven’t, that’s because you just don’t know it. With the recent reissues by GKIDS, we’re going to be covering some of our favorite Miyazaki releases in this column. You get to hear about them and we get to talk about them, so really it’s a win-win.


When people talk about getting into anime, a Miyazaki movie almost always gets recommended. Mostly these recommendations are Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, and for good reason, but let’s start by talking about Miyazaki’s not-so-high-profile releases, if there is such a thing.


Porco Rosso has evaded me for the longest time, because quite honestly I didn’t know what to make of it. I don’t know what to make of MOST Miyazaki movies, it’s true, but this time we just have to swallow the fact that there’s a pig man walking the streets of modern civilization and that no one seems to care that much about it. There’s a definite suspension of disbelief in most Miyazaki movies, and like all of them, the sooner we get on board, the sooner we start enjoying ourselves.


Porco Rosso has all the elements of a trademark Miyazaki movie: it takes place in a quaint European town, in a specific period (between the two world wars), it deals with fantastical elements (or in this case, just one), has strong female characters, and its struggle is more situational than personal. Like all Miyazaki movies, the lines between good and evil are a little blurred and we realize that sometimes our characters’ choices are a little more complex than we thought.


There will be more masterful movies to come from Miyazaki, but Porco Rosso is a wonderful and unique effort. Bordering the line between a children’s and adult’s movie, this is a gorgeous film, rich in setting and mood, lighthearted but serious when it needs to be, and a perfect primer for kids into this celebrated director’s world.


Get it here.

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