Disney brings the anime classic “Porco Rosso” to Blu-ray. Porco Rosso is a story of a World War I flying ace. Porco used to be a human until a mysterious spell came over him and turned him into a pig. After the war, he becomes a hired bounty hunter who often takes sky pirates down. Some sky pirates hire Porco to take a rival pilot out. The two pilots compete for the love of a beautiful girl named Gina but how will it all end?
The story is a very unique story, one that only can be told in an anime. It’s a bit of a “princes and the frog” type story but with a twist. The story is filled with a lot of action, adventure and humor. It covers a lot of genres within this film. It’s set in Italy, which makes it interesting since it’s an anime and originally done in Japanese.
The US cast is another all-star cast which features voices from Michael Keaton (Batman), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of the Bride), Susan Egan (Hercules), David Ogden Stiers (Lilo & Stitch) and Brad Garret (Everybody Loves Raymond). I loved the choice of Michael Keaton voicing Porco.
In one of the featurettes included in the bonus features, the cast mentioned that they had to re-write the script a little bit in order for the voiceovers to match up with the movements of the character’s mouths, so it may be a little different for fans of the original, but the story pretty much remains the same.
The rest of the bonus features are ones that the fans of the original film would love. There are original Japanese storyboards and trailers included, as well as an interview with Toshio Suzuki, the legendary anime producer.
This was my favorite of the three Studio Ghibli releases from Disney. It was funny, had a great story and the animation had a great flow to it, which is often an anime trait. Not to mention, it really gave a new meaning to “when pigs fly.”
“Porco Rosso” comes out Feb.3 on Blu-ray.