One of the best parts of the Blu-ray revolution (and Disney owning the distribution rights to Studio Ghibli films), has been seeing those indelible animation classics in High Definition for the first time ever. Slowly but surely, they’ve been releasing the works of Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and others in really lovely Blu-ray editions, great for any collection.
Next Tuesday, February 3, three Ghibli films make their long-awaited debut on Blu-ray. Those films are Tales from Earthsea (2006), the directorial debut of Hayao Miyazaki’s son Goro Miyazaki; Pom Poko (1994), easily one of the weirdest animated films I’ve ever seen, about Tanuki (raccoon dogs) who can shape shift and infiltrate the human world, directed by Ghibli co-founder Isao Takahata; and Porco Rosso (1992), one of Hayao Miyazaki’s very best, and sadly, least known films. This is why I’m so happy it’s finally coming to Blu-ray, so perhaps people can rediscover it for the positive adventure classic it is.
Porco Rosso is set just after WWI and follows an ace fighter pilot who has, through witchcraft and cursing, been turned into an anthropomorphic pig. But, it doesn’t affect his ability to fly, which he still does in order to take on air pirates and things.
In the below clip, we see just how good a pilot Porco is, and just how light and refreshingly upbeat the tone of the movie is, when the air pirates attempt to shoot down our hero after they’ve kidnapped children from the seaside village. Things don’t go super well for them.
All three Blu-rays come out next week and I’ll review them all in The Shelf. Until then, catch up with my series Miyazaki Masterclass.