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DVD Review: PORCO ROSSO

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PHOTOGRAPHY

PORCO ROSSO

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 93 minutes, Behind The Microphone featurette, Toshio Suzuki interview, original Japanese trailers, Complete Storyboard version

STUDIO: DISNEY/ STUDIO GHIBLI

RELEASE DATE: 2-22-2005

ANALYSIS: High flying fun and romance are what comes to mind after I watched PORCO ROSSO. It is another high quality piece of animated entertainment from director Hayao Miyazaki. What's not to love from idiotic sky pirates, seaplanes shooting at each other, and beautiful women abound?

PORCO ROSSO follows the story of Porco, a pilot/bounty hunter, who has his face transformed into the face of a pig by a mystical curse and he becomes thorn in the side of some sky pirates in the Adriatic Sea. The sky pirates hire Curtis, an American pilot, to take care of Porco. On the ground, Porco and Curtis battle for the affections of Gina, who owns the Hotel Adrianna. To make matters worse, Porco is wanted by the Italians because they want him (for deserting military service) and this plane. Circumstances leads Porco to getting his plan repaired in Milan. He is soon joined by a young teenage girl mechanic named Tio.

Will Porco defeat Curtis? Will the Italians catch up to Porco? Will Porco hook up with Gina? You will have to watch to find out the answers to these questions.

VIDEO/AUDIO: PORCO ROSSO is presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors are good and well-saturated. Image detail is good, but grain does show up in a couple of scenes.

The movie can be heard in English 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround, French, and the original Japanese language track with the option of English captions or subtitles. Dialogue can be heard clearly. the voice talent makes the English dub sound effective. Music and sound effects are just OK, but they don't stand out among the crowd.

SPECIAL FEATURES: BEHIND THE MICROPHONE is a seven minute featurette that has interviews with the voice actors for the English language dub (Michael Keaton, Brad Garrett, Kimberly Williams, Susan Egan, and others) and shows the work being put into a English language adaptation. The interview with Producer Toshio Suzuki is a short three minute piece that originally aired on Japanese TV in August of 1992. Original Japanese trailers for PORCO ROSSO and previews for other Disney DVDs are included on disc one. Disc two has the Complete Storyboard version (with the finished audio tracks) of the movie. The storyboard version will only be of interest to those who dig going through storyboards for a little while.

FINAL ANALYSIS: PORCO ROSSO is a fun adventure with fantastic animation. The DVD is a good package for all anime and Miyazaki fans.

this DVD Review is (c)2-23-2005 David Blackwell and it cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia