Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Porco Rosso (1992)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Porco Rosso (1992, Fr./Jp.) (aka The Crimson Pig, or Kurenai No Buta)

In famed Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's anime film - an adult fable (a fanciful version of Casablanca (1942)) about a portly, chauvinistic seaplane pilot in a bright red bi-plane named Marco Pagot, who had been cursed with the head of a pig and assumed the name Porco Rosso (meaning "Red Pig"):

  • the main character: a flying ace pilot - the overweight, aging, trench-coat wearing, world-weary, jaded and beyond-his prime Porco, who was currently working as a 1930s bounty hunter seeking after 'air pirates' (who attacked seaplane pirates that attacked ships), following his desertion from the Italian military; he had survived a major dogfight during WWI, and now he was transformed into an anthropomorphic pig - symbolic of his physical and psychological scarring
  • Porco's only love was for Gina, a sexy singer (the three-time widow of three sea-plane pilots) who managed a floating Adriatic resort, Hotel Adriano (the equivalent of Rick's Cafe in Casablanca), who secretly and hopefully awaited him in her hotel's garden
  • noted for aerial heroics, Porco was hated and pursued by a band of infuriated sky pirates (in various exciting aerial sequences) who hired Donald Curtis, an American rival pilot who sought fame and pride, to eliminate him
Porco Rosso ("Crimson Pig") in His Red Bi-Plane
  • after a fierce aerial fight against Curtis, Porco was forced to have his heavily-damaged plane rebuilt in Milan, Italy, with the help of young and feisty, strong-willed, 17 year-old female Italian mechanic/engineer/designer Fio Piccolo, the granddaughter of Paolo Piccolo
  • the astounding mystical tale Porco told Fio about how he had become mysteriously cursed - told in flashback - during a fierce air battle during World War I with Austro-Hungarian forces - the Italian ace pilot Marco in the sole surviving plane, found himself in clouds and an aerial limbo: "Everyone was falling down like flies, whether a friend or a foe....At the end I was the only one remaining of my unit...I thought I was going to die. It was at that time that I saw the white was like a flash. Because of the brightness, it took me a while to realize that I was in a cloud. I was worn out, and didn't have any power left to control my plane. In spite of that my plane continued to fly. A cloud of planes...When I recovered my senses, I was flying over the sea, almost touching it, alone"
Porco's Tale of Turning Into a Pig
  • Porco had described how he found himself floating on a sea of clouds that stretched for an eternity while his flying friends or comrades (including Gina's late husband) appeared to ascend beside him in their planes; his old flying friends rose further up a jet stream into pure blue sky above him, and joined a white band or ring that was composed of a pantheon or procession of thousands of allied and enemy planes manned and flown by dead pilots (reminiscent of A Guy Named Joe (1943) and A Matter of Life and Death/Stairway to Heaven (1946)); at the end of the story, Porco told Fio that he was fated or damned for the rest of his life (as a pig) to live alone with the knowledge that he was unable to help save his friends in the dogfight after being the sole survivor: "The good guys were the ones who died, or maybe I'm dead and life as a pig - it's the same thing as hell"
  • the sequence of the concluding dogfight challenge-duel between Curtis and Porco (to reclaim his honor) - if Curtis won, he would be allowed to marry Fio, but if Porco won, Curtis must pay Porco's debts to her grandfather Paolo Piccolo for designing his plane; the contest devolved from an aerial dogfight into a bare-knuckles fistfight in the water, and concluded with Porco declared the winner after both were knocked out - and Porco was the first to be revived; as Fio was about to fly off with Gina, Fio gave the battered Porco a kiss (earlier in the film, Fio suggested that a kiss might turn him back to his human self, as in story of The Princess and the Frog)
Hand-to-Hand Duel: Curtis vs. Porco
The Bare-Knuckles Brutal Contest
Fio's Goodbye Kiss to Porco
  • in the ending, it was suggested that Porco's true face (Marco) was revealed to Curtis, and that Porco may have found love with Gina at her hotel

Gina - Singer at Hotel Adriano

Porco and Curtis Competing For Gina's Affection

Porco: "A pig's gotta fly"

Fio at the Piccolo S.P.A. Workshop

Fio with Porco Planning The Redesign of His Plane

End of Porco's Tale to Fio: "Life as a pig - it's the same thing as hell"


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