Despite what the soothsayers... erm... say, I still think the Year of the Pig will be an auspicious one.
So to celebrate the upcoming piggy year, here's a list of some notable pigs. A piggy Hall of Fame, if you will. And to all readers: Gung hei fat choi!
8) Porco Rosso
The slightly lewd, mercenary ace pilot with the head of a pig is the hero of one of Hayao Miyazaki's lesser known films. The film is a homage to the days of prop planes and flying aces, done in that imaginative, Studio Ghibli way.
7) Porky Pig
This wide-eyed, perpetually smiling Loony Tune character was known for his distinctive stutter and featured regularly in my a childhood TV viewing. Looking at him now though, he seems a little bit sinister. Put some trousers on, Porky!
6) The char siu at Loon Tao restaurant, Gerrard Street, London
What? Of course I have to mention food! This is a bbc blog after all :)
You have not experienced Chinatown food until you have tried the char siu at Loon Tao. Trust me, it's amazing. Get the location here.
5) Spirited Away's parent pigs
Beautifully animated as you'd expect from a Hayao Miyazaki movie. The transformation of Mum and Dad into grunting pigs is a perfectly magical Miyazaki moment.
4) Miss Piggy
For some reason, the fact that 'irresistably' sexy Miss Piggy was voiced by a man (Frank Oz) never seemed that weird. Her unrequited love for Kermit was a brave celebration of mixed-race relationships although technically, they were both Muppets ;). Let down by her violent streak. The Miss Piggy wiki.
3) George Orwell's Animal Farm pigs
Part of my school reading list, Animal Farm was probably my first introduction to 'political' writing. The dictatorial pigs were brilliant creations - scary yet believable.
2) The 'Lost' Wild Boars
Scary. Dangerous. Big. Had to be hunted for food. One of the last good things about 'Lost'. Once the hogs went, things immediately started to go downhill. Image from: http://lost.wikia.com/.
1) Zhu Bajie aka Pigsy from 'Monkey Magic'
Although Pigsy was portrayed as a buffoon in Monkey Magic, the original character from the Chinese story Journey to the West was in fact a formidable fighter and commander of an army in Heaven. It was after he made a drunken pass at the Goddess of the Moon that he was banished to Earth, and because he landed in a pig farm, he was reincarnated as part pig, part human. Zhu Bajie is able to transform himself into 36 entities and his weapon is 5000 kilo, nine-toothed rake which you have to say is pretty cool.
And that concludes this piggy Hall of Fame. Happy New Year, peace and prosperity to all.