A porcine fighter pilot eludes Italian fascist swine in Studio Ghibli’s Porco Rosso.
Hayao Miyazaki’s ode to old Hollywood follows the Bogartian bounty hunter through a series of hog nights and dog fights, gently uncovering the heart of gold beneath our hero’s pigmented skin. His old-school scrapes are modernised and fantasised in true Miyazaki style, elevating the action with strong female characters and lovely aerial animation.
Miyazaki’s recurring use of air pirates (Laputa: Castle in the Sky) and an all-female workforce (Princess Mononoke) makes for a distinctive adventure, keeping boardom at bay with whimsical music, colourful characters and a love triangle where one of them happens to be a pig. Through bright colours, gorgeous scenery and classic costumes, Miyazaki makes you believe that swine flew.
This charming, romantic picture is the perfect oinkment for a genre dominated by machismo. Top Gun is for gammon; Porco Rosso is sow much more.