Porco Rosso

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Porco Rosso

Now that Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle have made Hayao Miyazaki an international name, at last his back catalogue is getting a belated release in the UK, thanks largely to the efforts of Optimum Asia. Porco Rosso comes in its original stereo Japanese-language version (with English subtitles), as well as an excellent stereo English dub (with optional SDH) featuring voice work from the likes of Michael "Batman" Keaton and Cary "The Princess Bride" Elwes.

Amongst the extras is an option to watch the whole film progress alongside the original storyboards (accessible through the DVD player's alternative angle function) and an 11-minute trailer reel of all the Studio Ghibli anime features, in which Miyazaki has had a hand. Best of all is the (subtitled) interview, taken from a 1992 broadcast on Nippon TV, with Studio Ghibli's producer Toshio Suzuki. Despite having a duration of only three minutes, the interview allows Suzuki to comment with impressive economy on the difference between Porco Rosso and Miyazaki's earlier films, which are more obviously for children, on Miyazaki's extraordinary attention to detail and on his way of turning ordinary, grounded characters into heroes.

Still, in the absence of an audio commentary, at least an interview with Miyazaki would have been welcome - but then, the man is notoriously shy of the media.

Reviewed on: 02 Feb 2006
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Porco Rosso packshot
Anime adventures of a flying pig, Italian Fascists, pirates and an American contract killer between the wars in Europe.
Amazon link

Product Code: OPTD0318

Region: 2

Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic

Sound: Dolby Digital stereo

Extras: Optional English language version; alternative angle storyboards; Toshio Suzuki interview; Studio Ghibli trailer reel

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