Porco Rosso (1992) IMDb

Creators

Suzuki Toshio (producer), Miyazaki Hayao (writer-director).

Categorization

European aerial combat adventure with elements of Buddhist fable, i.e. the main character was reincarnated as a pig without really dying (transcarnated?), and everyone notices this, but nobody minds. Miyazaki also wrote the earlier brief manga.

Subject

Fascists strive for power around the Adriatic, as the Great Depression grips the world. A seaplane pilot who guiltily survived WW1 keeps the regional air pirates at bay, but runs into a gallant American.

Commentary

Miyazaki’s greatest ego trip at the time: Old machines, flight, slapstick action, lots of honour, a pig in the title role, and shallow romance. This is full of “joy of animation”-type moments, but it’s too light. Efforts were made to inject a bit more seriousness, on account of the war in former Yugoslavia, but the result is vaguely disjointed misandry and ephebophilia, rather than a nuanced, coherent narrative. Some names are recycled from 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother (1976).

References here: Ghibli movie titles, “Boogie-Doodle” (1948), Spirited Away (2001), The Wind Rises (2013), Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017).

Ghibli Japanese production animation fiction moving picture