Porco Rosso (1992)
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki
"Porco Rosso" opens with a stunning rescue by Porco of a group of schoolgirls taken hostage by Air Pirates. (You can see from the picture above that the schoolgirls were more trouble for the pirates than they were worth!) Soon we learn that Porco, a man with the face of a pig, is a former Italian Air Force pilot now working freelance for anyone with enough money. Porco has been living under a curse since a dogfight he was involved in during the war. (World War I) Even though his appearance is unusual, Porco has an excellent reputation as a pilot, and is still something of a heartbreaker.
Soon a flashy american pilot by the name of Donald Curtis appears as Porco's potential rival, not only for the title of top pilot, but for the affections of Gina, Porco's long-time friend. During an ill-fated encounter with Curtis, Porco's plane is seriously damaged, and he is forced to go back to Italy and his trusted mechanic Piccolo to have it repaired. The only problem is, he is a wanted man/pig in Italy.
Finally arriving at Piccolo's place, Porco finds that Italy has changed. The economy is so bad that most of the men have left the town to find better work, and the army is growing in strength. Piccolo puts his granddaughter Fio in charge of Porco's repairs - something Porco is against at first. With a crew of Italian grandmothers and Fio in charge, soon Porco's plane is in better shape than ever, and he has to take back all of his misgivings over women mechanics. However, the army is now on to his whereabouts, and Porco must leave before his repaired and improved plane is even tested - and despite his objections, Fio comes along on his daring escape from Italy, not only as his mechanic, but also to ensure that her grandfather gets paid for the work. Along the way, Fio learns of Porco's curse, and helps him to get back in touch with his lost humanity.I give "Porco Rosso" two paws up and a tail curl! Not only is this film full of adventure and daring dogfights in the clouds, it also has a lot of humor. Ladybeans will love how the Italian grandmas prove Porco wrong about women, and how Fio is strong enough and brave enough to stand toe-to-toe with the jaded fighter pilot. This movie is unique, and should be given a lot more notice. I suggest you kitties give it a try!