DVD Title
Porco Rosso
International Title
Porco Rosso
DVD Length Original Length
93 Minutes 93 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Disney 2005
Language Subtitles
Japanese, English, French English, French
Region Number of Discs
1 2
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.85:1 (Anamorphic) 2.0 Stereo, 4.0 Surround
Extras
.
Menus (English)
.
Chapters (12)
.
Trailers: Porco Rosso (#1, #2, #3, Promo Reel), The Incredibles, Bambi: Special Edition DVD, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds/The Cat Returns/Porco Rosso DVDs (Disney), Spirited Away (Disney), Kiki's Delivery Service (Disney), Castle in the Sky (Disney)
.
Behind the Microphone (7 minutes)
.
Interview with Producer Toshio Suzuki (3 minutes)
.
Complete Storyboards (93 minutes)
Captures
Review

With Disney CEO Michael Eisner's favorite movie being My Neighbor Totoro (1988) and following Spirited Away's 2003 Oscar win, it should come as no surprise that the Walt Disney corporation has gone to immense lengths to secure Hayao Miyazaki's portfolio of films. From helping to produce Howl's Moving Castle in 2004, to buying the major market rights (yes, even for Japan) for all of the movies when available, Disney is on a mission to own the director's entire resume of films. Some of the director's fans have shuddered at these course of events, but Disney has proven, even to the naysayers, that they care about the material far more than any other studio who has ever handled their home video distribution. In fact, their dedication continues with this release of the 1992 box office hit Porco Rosso, which sports incredible video and audio quality while also featuring a robust array of extras.


 Video:

Truly a fantastic video presentation if there ever was one, with every aspect of the picture quality deserving praise. The best feature, though, would have to be the wonderful array of colors present, particularly the deep reds which are on full display on Porco Rosso's plane. The print used for the transfer also appears to be in great shape. There is some faint grain present and some slight flicker on a few background cels, but it's nothing surprising given that the film is more than a decade old. The movie also looks nice and sharp too, although there is some faint edge enhancement present.

One must commend Disney, though, for sticking the original Japanese version of the movie on this print, complete with the Japanese title screen and credits, along with their own which includes a new title screen and English credits. It's a small touch, but one that is sure to make purists happy, especially since both presentations are exactly the same in terms of quality.

Porco Rosso is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

Disney has gone above and beyond here, not only including great sounding audio tracks but also ones that deserve a fair bit of positive attention on their own merits. In total, there are three audio tracks present on this disc. First off is a great track of the original Japanese audio done in 2.0 stereo with nice speaker distinction for the stereo format. Next up is a 4.0 surround track of the English dubbing, complete with Michael Keaton as Porco Rosso. The quality here is also good with very nice speaker distinction as well, although some might take up complaint with a couple of the artistic changes done to the film, most of which don't effect the plot (such as having Curtis come from Texas as opposed to Alabama) but are more peculiar in regards to why they were changed in the first place. Finally, the last track is a 2.0 stereo presentation of the movie dubbed into French, complete with Jean Reno as Porco Rosso. Like the others, there is also no complaints to be had here, with good speaker distinction and no inconsistencies.

The audio can be accompanied by, removable, English or French subtitles that correspond to either the Japanese or English dubbed tracks.


 Extras:

With almost two hours of supplemental material, how can one argue with the extra content here? Granted, most of that time is accounted for by the storyboards feature, which runs 93 minutes long, same as the movie. This extra, which is the isolated feature on the second disc in the set, can be accompanied by the movie's Japanese track or the English dub, and is a full length rendering of what the movie looked like when it was story boarded, with each and every sequence present.

Next up from the extra content is a seven minute feature on the dubbing of the movie, complete with small interviews with Michael Keaton, Cary Elwes, Brad Garrett and others involved. Like other features of this nature on the Disney discs, the voice actors reflect on both having to dub for the Japanese animation and their own feelings toward Miyazaki's work. This short is surprisngly entertaining, and one of the nicer extras to look over on the disc.

Back to the Japanese front comes a short, three minute, interview with producer Toshio Suzuki who reflects on the film and Miyazaki in general. The feature is done in Japanese with removable English subtitles.

Finally, rounding out the disc is a huge selection of trailers and previews. In total there are four on this disc for Porco Rosso, all of which are in Japanese with removable English subtitles. The rest of the previews are for Disney's other releases, such as the theatrical/DVD one for the Incredibles and DVD commercials for Bambi and quite a few of the Miyazaki films. Unfortunately, like all of Disney's releases, these latter "commercials" play automatically when the disc is first inserted into the player, and have to be skipped or endured to get to the main menu.


 Overview:

Bottom line, Disney is doing a fantastic job with the Miyazaki movies, going far beyond the normal call of duty to make each release truly spectacular across the board, while also giving fans a reason to anticipate each new release from the Miyazaki's large body of work.

- Anthony Romero  
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