Originally planned as a short film for Japan Airlines, fantasy wartime adventure Porco Rosso
eventually became a feature film at the hands of Japanese animation master Miyazaki Hayao. Set in Fascist-ruled Italy in between the two World Wars, Porco Rosso
traces a World War I veteran fighter pilot (who happens to look like a pig) and his battles against pirates, the secret police and romantic rivals. Designed as "a manga film for middle-aged men whose brains have been worn out," Porco Rosso
has just the right balance of action, comedy and even a dash of romance. The film even broke the box office record Miyazaki had set earlier with Kiki's Delivery Service
, becoming the highest grossing theatrical animated film release at the time.
Porco Rosso is a World War I veteran fighter pilot who now flies around the Adriatic Sea as a bounty hunter. When he's not flying on missions, Porco spends his time at the Hotel Adriano, run by good friend Gina. When American pilot Curtis arrives in the area to work for the pirates, he falls in love with Gina, who is obviously in love with Porco. Out of jealousy, Curtis shoots Porco's plane down. Porco manages to drag his damaged plane to Milan for repairs and meets Fio, his mechanic's granddaughter. After Fio proves herself to be a great mechanic and even offers to help Porco escape from the secret police. However, the pilot returns to discover that the pirates are now working for the Fascist government. Curtis also discovers that Porco is still alive and challenges him to a final duel for Gina.
Blu-ray Edition includes storyboards (in picture-in-picture mode).