Porco Rosso

Earlier this week, the brand new English dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s Porco Rosso was screened at the Paramount Theater as part of the Austin Film Festival. I bought a full pass to the festival to make sure I wouldn’t get cheated out of seeing this film, and I thought I could catch a few other films and the pass would pay for itself. No luck, I haven’t made the time to see any other films. But who cares. This is Miyazaki for crying out loud, and the only chance to see it on the big screen before it hits DVD next year.

As John Lasseter said on some of the Miyazaki’s DVDs: “You are lucky. You get to see (insert great film here).”

The film was fantastic, and the audience loved it. Funnier than his other films, but also with that sincere Miyazaki touch — beautiful sky scenes, not afraid to pause and appreciate a moment.

Cindy and Donald Hewitt answered questions afterwards. They did the English dialogue for Porco Rosso and also for last year’s Academy Award winning Spirited Away. Sounds like they enjoy working on these films, even though they have a short time to get the screenplay done (2-3 weeks). They are also playing a bigger role in directing the voice actors.

To see how potential voice actors will fit the part, they use Final Cut Pro to take audio clips from other movies and play it over the animation. When working on the English version, they just practice the dialogue while watching the movie, trying to get the lip sync right (lots of rewinding). They use the direct translation and also other existing dubs as a guide.

Miyazaki’s next film, currently in production, is Howl’s Moving Castle.