Sabine Caruthers

Sabine Caruthers

Modified & Updated: 24 Jan 2024


Porco Rosso is an enchanting and captivating animated film that has gained a cult following worldwide. Directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli, this movie has charmed audiences with its unique storytelling, stunning animation, and compelling characters. Set in the Adriatic Sea during the 1930s, Porco Rosso tells the story of a former World War I flying ace who has been cursed and transformed into a pig. While battling air pirates and navigating through political intrigue, Porco Rosso embarks on a journey of self-discovery and redemption. This article will delve into 49 fascinating facts about the movie, including behind-the-scenes details, interesting trivia, and the film’s impact on both the animation industry and pop culture as a whole.

Table of Contents

Inspiration from Italian Literature

The story of Porco Rosso draws inspiration from the writings of Italian author, Italo Calvino, particularly from his novel “Il Barone Rampante”.

The Flying Pig

The protagonist of the movie, Porco Rosso, is a skilled pilot who happens to be cursed and transformed into a pig. This unique and intriguing concept captures the attention of the audience right from the start.

The Setting

The movie is set in the Adriatic Sea during the interwar period, specifically in the 1930s. This backdrop adds a touch of nostalgia and adventure to the story.

The Theme of Identity

Porco Rosso explores the theme of identity and the struggle to find one’s place in the world. This deep and thought-provoking aspect of the movie adds depth to its storytelling.

Miyazaki’s Love for Aviation

As a lifelong aviation enthusiast, Hayao Miyazaki incorporates his passion for aircraft and flying into the movie. The attention to detail in the aircraft design is truly exceptional.

The Voice Cast

The Japanese version of Porco Rosso features talented voice actors like Shuichiro Moriyama, Tokiko Kato, and Akemi Okamura. Their performances bring the characters to life.

English Dubbing

The English dubbed version of Porco Rosso was released in 2005, with Michael Keaton lending his voice to the title character. The English version gained wide acclaim for its translation and voice acting.

A Tale of Redemption

Porco Rosso’s story revolves around a journey of redemption and self-discovery. The character development is masterfully done, making the audience emotionally invested in the narrative.

The Stunning Visuals

Porco Rosso showcases the exceptional animation skills of Studio Ghibli, with its vivid colors, detailed backgrounds, and fluid movements. It’s truly a visual feast for the eyes.

Homage to Classic Aviation Films

Miyazaki pays tribute to classic aviation films like “Only Angels Have Wings” and “The Bounty” by incorporating elements from these movies into Porco Rosso. It adds a nostalgic touch for film enthusiasts.

The Evolution of the Watercolor Style

Porco Rosso marks a significant evolution in Hayao Miyazaki’s watercolor style of animation. The usage of light and shadow creates a breathtaking atmosphere throughout the movie.

The Soundtrack

Joe Hisaishi composed the beautiful and memorable score for Porco Rosso. The music perfectly complements the emotional moments and exhilarating flight sequences.

Box Office Success

Porco Rosso was a major success at the box office, becoming the highest-grossing domestic film in Japan in It solidified Studio Ghibli’s reputation as a powerhouse in the animation industry.

The Mysterious Gina

Gina is a key character in Porco Rosso. Her enigmatic persona adds an air of intrigue to the story, leaving the audience guessing about her true intentions.

Beloved Supporting Characters

The movie features a colorful cast of supporting characters, each with their own quirks and complexities. They provide comic relief and emotional depth to the narrative.

Porco Rosso’s Rivalry

Curtiss, an American pilot, serves as Porco Rosso’s rival throughout the film. Their conflicts and duels add excitement and tension to the storyline.

Anti-War Message

Porco Rosso carries a powerful anti-war message, portraying the devastating consequences of war and the need for peace. This message resonates strongly with audiences of all ages.

The Seaplane: Savoia S.21

The seaplane featured in the movie, Savoia S.21, is a fictional aircraft designed specifically for Porco Rosso. Its unique design captures the imagination of aviation enthusiasts.

Miyazaki’s Attention to Detail

Hayao Miyazaki is known for his meticulous attention to detail, and Porco Rosso is no exception. Every frame is carefully crafted, ensuring that no element goes unnoticed.

Compassion for Characters

Miyazaki’s storytelling evokes a sense of compassion and empathy for the characters, making the audience root for their success and happiness.

Cultural References

Porco Rosso subtly incorporates cultural references to 1930s Italy, including fashion, music, and societal norms, creating an immersive experience for the viewers.

Dialogues with Depth

The dialogues in Porco Rosso are rich in depth and meaning. They convey complex emotions and provide insights into the characters’ motivations.

Aviation Terminology

The movie showcases a variety of aviation jargon and terminology, creating an authentic atmosphere and adding realism to the flying scenes.

Porco Rosso’s Origins

Porco Rosso originated from a short manga created by Hayao Miyazaki himself. Its success led to the production of the full-length animated film.

Inclusion of Strong Female Characters

Porco Rosso defies traditional gender roles by featuring strong and independent female characters like Fio, who challenges societal expectations and proves her skills as an engineer.

Environmental Themes

Miyazaki’s love for the environment and nature is evident in Porco Rosso. The movie subtly addresses environmental issues, reminding viewers of the importance of preserving our planet.

The Porco Rosso Manga

Hayao Miyazaki’s original short manga, upon which the movie is based, was released in It provided the foundation for the captivating storyline.

The Flying Boat

The flying boat, Piccolo, plays a significant role in Porco Rosso. Its unique design and functionality add an element of wonder and adventure to the movie.

The Strong Bond of Friendship

The movie beautifully depicts the bonds of friendship that form between the characters, highlighting the importance of support and camaraderie in overcoming challenges.

A Touch of Romance

Porco Rosso subtly incorporates a touch of romance, making the audience invest emotionally in the relationship between Porco Rosso and Gina.

The Visual Transformation

As a result of his curse, Porco Rosso’s transformation into a pig leads to striking visuals, further enhancing the uniqueness of the character.

The Real-World Inspirations

The movie draws inspiration from real-world historical events, including the rise of fascism in Europe during the 1930s, adding a layer of realism to the storyline.

The Power of Nostalgia

Porco Rosso taps into the power of nostalgia, transporting viewers back to a bygone era and evoking a sense of longing for simpler times.

Cult Following

Over the years, Porco Rosso has gained a strong cult following, with fans appreciating its unique storyline, memorable characters, and stunning animation.

The Depth in Humor

Porco Rosso skillfully balances humor with deeper themes, offering moments of lightheartedness amidst the heavier aspects of the story.

The Silent Storytelling

Porco Rosso employs moments of silent storytelling, allowing the visuals and character expressions to convey powerful emotions without the need for words.

Exploration of Humanity

The movie explores the complexities of human nature, showcasing the strengths, flaws, and resilience of its characters.

The Legacy of Miyazaki

Porco Rosso is yet another testament to Hayao Miyazaki’s brilliance as a filmmaker, further cementing his legacy in the world of animation.

Themes of Belonging

Porco Rosso delves into themes of belonging and finding one’s place in the world, resonating with viewers on a personal and emotional level.

Critical Acclaim

The movie received critical acclaim for its storytelling, animation, and overall execution. It showcased the exceptional talent of the team at Studio Ghibli.

A Glimpse into Miyazaki’s Love for Flight

Porco Rosso provides a glimpse into Miyazaki’s personal love for flight, as he showcases his fascination with aviation through the character of Porco Rosso.

The Significance of the “Red Pig”

The name “Porco Rosso” translates to “Red Pig” in Italian, symbolizing the transformation and unique identity of the main character.

Miyazaki’s Attention to Female Characters

Miyazaki pays special attention to the portrayal of female characters in Porco Rosso, giving them depth, agency, and important roles within the narrative.

The Impact of War

Porco Rosso addresses the impact of war on individuals and society, highlighting the scars it leaves behind and the need for healing.

The Art of Flying

The exhilarating flight sequences in Porco Rosso showcase the sheer joy and freedom of flying, capturing the imagination of viewers of all ages.

The Prolific Career of Hayao Miyazaki

Porco Rosso is just one of the many masterpieces in Hayao Miyazaki’s illustrious career, solidifying his position as one of the greatest animation directors of all time.

The Bond Between Humans and Machines

The movie explores the bond between humans and machines, portraying how they can coexist and rely on each other for mutual growth and strength.

The Power of Resilience

Porco Rosso portrays the power of resilience and never giving up, inspiring audiences to overcome adversity and stay true to themselves.

An Animated Classic

Porco Rosso has rightfully earned its place as an animated classic, cherished by fans worldwide for its imaginative storytelling and stunning visuals.

Porco Rosso is a true gem in the world of animation, combining adventure, romance, and profound themes into a captivating story. With its unique concept, beautiful animation, and compelling characters, it continues to enchant audiences of all ages. Whether you are a long-time fan or new to the world of Studio Ghibli, Porco Rosso is a must-watch film that will leave you in awe. So sit back, relax, and prepare for an extraordinary journey with the “49 Facts about the movie Porco Rosso.


Porco Rosso is a remarkable film that captivates audiences with its unique blend of adventure, romance, and aviation. With stunning animation, compelling characters, and a thought-provoking storyline, it has cemented its place as a beloved classic in the world of animation.

As a fan of Porco Rosso, you can dive deeper into the movie by exploring the fascinating facts and trivia surrounding its creation. From the inspiration behind the story to the film’s historical backdrop, there are numerous details that contribute to the film’s charm.

Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the world of Porco Rosso, these 49 facts will surely enhance your appreciation for this incredible film.


1. Who is the director of Porco Rosso?

Porco Rosso was directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, known for his iconic works such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.

2. When was Porco Rosso released?

Porco Rosso was released in Japan on July 18, 1992.

3. What is the main theme of Porco Rosso?

Porco Rosso explores themes of identity, redemption, and the power of love. It delves into the inner struggle of the protagonist, Marco Pagot, as he grapples with his past and finds solace in his unusual existence as a pig-faced pilot.

4. Is Porco Rosso based on a true story?

No, Porco Rosso is not based on a true story. However, the film’s historical setting, which takes place in the Adriatic Sea during the 1920s and 1930s, adds a touch of realism to the narrative.

5. Are there any sequels or spin-offs of Porco Rosso?

No, Porco Rosso is a standalone film and does not have any official sequels or spin-offs. However, fans can continue to explore the imaginative world of Studio Ghibli through their other films and works.

6. What is the significance of the title “Porco Rosso”?

The title “Porco Rosso” translates to “Red Pig” in Italian. It refers to the main character, Marco Pagot, who has been cursed and transformed into a pig. The name represents both his physical appearance and his alter ego’s identity as a skilled pilot.