Porco Rosso (Kurenai no buta) (Studio Ghibli Collection) (1992)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Multiple Angles-Alternative Angle Storyboards
Interviews-Crew-Toshio Suzuki (Studio Ghibli Producer)
Trailer-Studio Ghibli Trailers (3)
|Year Of Production||1992|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (41:49)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Hayao Miyazaki|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
††† Porco Rosso (Kurenai no buta) is an animated feature from renowned Japanese production company Studio Ghibli. The studio's co-founder and most prolific director, Hayao Miyazaki, is at the helm for what essentially amounts to a fun, romantic, adventurous and decidedly different outing for the famed studio.
††† Marco "Porco" Paggot is a former Italian Air Force pilot who now earns a comfortable living as contract law enforcement in the skies, keeping the Adriatic sea free from ruthless air pirates. Although he is a big hit with the ladies, Porco lives a relatively solitary existence on his island hideaway, basking in the sun and waiting for a call to action. But, there is something that sets him apart from his friends and acquaintances - he is a pig. You see, Porco is the victim of a bizarre curse that took hold after he emerged from a dramatic battle in the air as the only remaining survivor from his squadron. The curse transformed him into a walking, talking pig, but didn't dampen his sense of humour or his love of flying.
††† While heading for much needed repairs his plane is trashed by Curtis, a suave American flyboy rival who also fancies himself as a Hollywood hunk. Without a flyable plane or source of income, Porco is forced to risk returning to his home town Milan, where an arrest warrant has seen him exiled for years. He intends to have his wreckage seen to by Milan's expert aviation mechanic Piccolo, only to discover that Piccolo's young granddaughter Fio is to be in charge of the engineering and restoration. Porco is hesitant to entrust his plane to a woman, but gives her a chance, and soon Piccolo's entire family of women is on the job, including Grandma! When the repairs are done Fio invites herself along for his rematch with the American, and finds herself involved way over her head.
††† This film is particularly special to me, as it marked my first Studio Ghibli experience more than ten years ago. I was struck by the quality of the animation, the adult characters and the sheer romanticism with which aviation was presented. Having finally seen it again after so many years, I still believe it to be an unforgettable piece of work. Director Hayao Miyazaki has crafted an adult story with superb action, a little romance and plenty of humour, making it vastly different from other, more abstract Ghibli films that are fashioned to include a younger audience.
††† As with previous titles in this series, the original Japanese soundtrack is included but the film's English cast is uncredited. Carey Elwes stars as the American pilot Curtis, and Michael Keaton is almost unrecognisable as the lovable Porco. In the case of this film, I feel that the English cast dumbs down the adult tones and comes across a bit cartoon-like, while the Japanese cast are much more natural. For this reason I'd recommend the original Japanese soundtrack without question.
††† Porco Rosso is a superb aeronautical adventure and a magical animated film. It's a little different in comparison to other films from Miyazaki, but that's part of what makes it so special. If you have an interest in animation or good old fashioned story-telling, this is a must.
††† In most respects, this video transfer is similar to the other Studio Ghibli films in this collection. As with the other transfers, the picture is sharp and clear, but judging by the identical runtimes between regions this appears to be an NTSC conversion. Fast action and pans across the screen appear a little jerky, and the level of detail isn't quite up to the level of a PAL source. If you step frame by frame there is visible interleaving between frames; in fact a good example of this artefact can be seen if you pause at 2:10. I have stated before that a format conversion is disappointing, as I would much rather a native NTSC transfer that my progressive system can process itself.
††† The transfer is presented in the film's original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, with 16x9 enhancement. The frame is windowboxed on all sides, presumably to compensate for the overscan applied by most CRT displays. Via my projector and PC the image is surrounded by a thick black border and remains centred.
††† This film is ten years older than The Cat Returns, so it doesn't quite match the cleanliness of that transfer, however it is still very good. The level of sharpness is good considering the transfer source, with plenty of detail evident in the animation. There was no low level noise evident in the transfer.
††† The colour palette in this film is generally pastel-like, but maintains a great deal of vibrancy. I didn't notice any inconsistencies or faults in colour rendering at all.
††† The original film source is very clean and free of any specs or blemishes. MPEG artefacts are visible on several occasions, but don't extend beyond a mild grain. At 57:09 the combination of fast motion, interleaving and MPEG grain is quite obvious as it disintegrates the sharpness of the picture. As I mentioned above, the interleaving introduced in this DVD transfer is associated with an NTSC conversion. On this occasion I found that the interleaving exacerbated the MPEG compression issues.
††† There are two English subtitle streams available: one normal and another for the hard of hearing. Both are a yellow†font with a black outline, and very easy to read. The hard of hearing subtitles were activated by default on my player, along with the English soundtrack. The English subtitle stream and the English soundtrack differ quite a bit in their translation of the original Japanese. Several European languages are represented in the film, but are not translated by either stream.
††† This disc is dual layered (DVD9 format), with the layer change placed at 41:49 in a silent, still moment. You couldn't ask for a better position in this film.
††† There are two soundtracks accompanying this film on DVD: both English and Japanese language soundtracks, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (224Kb/s). The default soundtrack is English.
††† The dialogue in both soundtracks is consistent and easy to hear. The ADR and audio sync is as good as you could hope for in an animated film. As I stated above, the original Japanese soundtrack is included but the film's English cast is uncredited. In the case of this film, I feel that the English cast dumbs down the adult tones and comes across a bit childish and cartoon-like, while the Japanese cast are much more natural and mature. For this reason I'd recommend the original Japanese soundtrack without question.
††† The English soundtrack has been mastered at a slightly lower volume in comparison to the Japanese option. Aside from this small difference in level, the soundtracks appear to contain the same panning and use of effects, particularly during the action packed dogfight scenes.
††† Other regions contain stereo soundtracks that are surround-flagged. After manually processing the soundtracks via Pro Logic II, I didn't feel that it enhanced the experience at all in this case.
††† The film's score is by Miyazaki's long-time collaborator JŰ Hisaishi and has a distinctly European feel, focusing on the piano and orchestra. Some passages are light and dream-like, while others add great tension to the airborne action. This soundtrack score is very good, highly memorable and certainly up to the standard of other Ghibli productions.
††† Obviously, there isn't an LFE channel present so there isn't any subwoofer activity to report. The soundtrack isn't particularly bass-heavy either, so there was no spill to speak of.
|Surround Channel Use|
††† A series of very similar trailers for Porco Rosso are played back-to-back with English subtitles. All are presented in 1.85:1, but without 16x9 enhancement.
††† The entire film can be viewed in storyboard form via the angle button on your remote control. A lot of the sketches are simple and some are roughly coloured, but they give an interesting insight into the early stages of this production.
††† Toshio offers his thoughts on the director and what makes this film different to Miyazaki's earlier efforts. This interview was made for Nippon Television and is presented in 1.33:1 full frame.
††† A promo trailer covering the three most recent titles in the Studio Ghibli Collection; The Cat Returns, Porco Rosso and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
††† As with past Studio Ghibli titles, the cover can be reversed to display an alternate cover with Japanese text.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
††† The second Region 1 disc contains the storyboarded film, but I think I prefer having it as an alternate angle. The featurette would be interesting to see, though.
††† I believe the Region 2 NTSC Japanese package is similar in content to the Region 1, but doesn't contain the English featurette of course. Unless you're a French speaker, it would be hard to justify importing this one. On the other hand, an NTSC region won't suffer from the conversion issues we have here. You be the judge.
††† The video transfer is sourced from an NTSC master and in this case the resulting interleaving appears to encourage minor MPEG compression issues.
††† The audio transfer is comprised of the original Japanese and an English alternative. Both are good and presented in stereo.
††† There are a couple of worthwhile extras.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|