The popular animated film Porco Rosso by Studio Ghibli, released in 1992, is known for its many famous sayings, including "A pig that doesn't fly is just a pig."

On January 14th, 2022, the movie was aired on Nippon Television Network's movie program 金曜日ロードSHOW! (Friday Road SHOW!).

Porco Rosso: Behind-the-scenes stories and trivia

To coincide with the broadcast of Porco Rosso Friday Road SHOW!'s Twitter account posted behind-the-scenes stories and trivia about the film, including a few surprising revelations.

Here are some of the posts that received a particularly strong response.

The meaning of 'turning into a pig'

In the end credits, 22 illustrations appear. In some of them, you can see a group of pilots other than Porco, also drawn with pig faces. What does this mean?

"The 22 illustrations shown at the ending were all created by Hayao Miyazaki. According to him, the pigs in the illustrations were intended to reflect the idea that airplanes were beginning to be used as tools for various interests on the ground, and that men who have to fly as part of their 'duties' can't escape from a certain bitterness and other such things."

By leaving it at "such things," we can't be certain but it's easy to imagine that Miyazaki implied these were emotional burdens that distorted them. This would align very well with Porco since the "curse" comes not from an outside factor but from within. According to film web magazine "Filmaga," the film pamphlet distributed when the film was screened clearly states: "Refusing to become a hero of the nation again in the face of a new war looming, (Porco) enchants himself and becomes a pig." Just like Porco became a pig by his own choosing, in a sense, so did these pilots.

Gina singing "Le Temps Des Cerises"

The French song "Le Temps Des Cerises" (The Time of the Cherries) is one of the most popular songs in Porco Rosso and the scene in which Gina sings it is one of the most memorable for many viewers.

In fact, this scene was based on a video of singer-songwriter Tokiko Kato, who voiced Gina, actually singing the song.

"The audio for 'Le Temps Des Cerises,' which Gina sings at the hotel bar, was recorded at a Russian restaurant in [the] Aoyama [neighborhood of Tokyo]. The scene was videotaped beforehand, and apparently, Hayao Miyazaki used it as a reference when he drew the scene. Watch for Gina 'reproducing' Ms. Kato's mouth movements as she sings in French."

And there's also more behind-the-scenes information about the customers listening to Gina's singing...

"During the video recording of Tokiko Kato's song, producer Toshio Suzuki and Seiji Okuda, formerly of NTV, decided to play customers visiting Gina's store. In the resulting scene, the nervous-looking man holding Gina's hand is played by Okuda, and the man with glasses behind him is played by Suzuki😆"

Fio grows up to become a beautiful woman?

Anyone who saw Porco Rosso remembers Porco's young engineer and co-passenger Fio, Piccolo's granddaughter. We hear Fio's voice at some indeterminate time in the future at the end of the movie, but we never see her. However, it turns out that we may have a hint of what Fio looked like...

"The woman in the cream-colored dress among the female relatives working at Piccolo's factory is Gigliola, Fio's older sister. The storyboard for this scene describes her as 'Fio five years from now.'"

Considering that she was drawn based on what Miyazaki imagined Fio would eventually look like, it could be the closest glimpse we have of Fio's future appearance.

Many people reacted to this Tweet, saying things such as: "She's so beautiful! I'm going to fall in love with her." It seems that many people were charmed by her beauty.

Hayao Miyazaki's thoughts on his work

Hayao Miyazaki's thoughts on Porco Rosso, which he outlined in his proposal for the film, were also revealed in a Tweet that night.

"In his proposal for Porco Rosso, Hayao Miyazaki clearly wrote: 'All the main characters must have a reality that has been carved out from their lives. They fool around because they've been through hard times, and their simpleness is something they've acquired by growing up. Every character deserves to be cherished...

...Cherish their stupidity, but don't skimp on the depiction of all the others. Don't make the common mistake of thinking that manga is about drawing people who are dumber than you are.'"

The post elicited a huge response, garnering over 17,000 likes at the time of writing.

Some of the comments were: "I understand why this film has been loved for so many years," and "I think I can understand why they're fooling around because they've had a hard time."

Porco Rosso still holds a place in the hearts of many people. If you learn about the thoughts and stories behind the film, maybe you'll discover something new and have a new reason to watch it again.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.