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Anime / Heidi, Girl of the Alps

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Heidi, Girl of the Alps is a 1974 Anime series that ran for 52 episodes based on the famous Heidi's Years of Wandering and Learning Swiss classic children's novel by Johanna Spyri, which was created as part of the World Masterpiece Theater series. The anime featured the talents of Yoshiyuki Tomino (storyboards), Isao Takahata (director) and Hayao Miyazakinote  (animator).

It tells the tale of Heidi, a five year old orphan who is pretty much dumped by her aunt on her grandpa, a gruff man with a bad reputation who lives alone in the mountains. Heidi quickly melts the old man's heart and makes a friend in Peter, a goatherd six years older than her, and Grandpa's huge St Bernard dog, Joseph (renamed in many foreign dubs for some reason as some variation on the word "fog"). Just as she has gotten cozy in the Alps, her aunt comes back and tricks her into leaving the mountains for Frankfurt to become the companion of a lonely, rich Ill Girl bound to a wheelchair, Klara Sesemann. Once again, she makes friends with the whole household (except for uptight old hag Mrs. Rottenmeier), but she gets increasingly homesick, to the point that she starts sleepwalking. For her sanity's sake, she's allowed to go back to the Alps, with the promise that Klara will be allowed to visit her there. Which just happens to be exactly what Klara needs for her health...


Heidi was a big success, and it is still fondly remembered in Japan and many foreign countries, particularly in Europe and Latin America. Not so much in English-speaking countries, as only a movie-length edited version of the show (put together without Takahata and Miyazaki's input) made it to home video in UK and USA; the edited version also aired in the early '80s on HBO. Canada was more fortunate, getting the entire series in French on Radio-Canada television. Video game players (especially those who may have never heard of this version of the story) may recognize part of the opening theme from the arcade game Froggernote .

In 2014, French animation company Studio 100 produced a CGI remake that trims down the number of episodes (from 52 to 39) and makes slight changes to the story (for example, Heidi's aunt comes to live with her at Clara's house instead of just leaving Heidi there and dissapearing, even falling in love and becoming engaged to Sebastian, Clara's family butler).


Do not confuse with Heidi's Song, although both are based on the same novel.

A lot of the tropes in this series are already covered at Heidi. Tropes exclusive to Heidi, Girl of the Alps include the following:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Although Peter is a bit annoyed at how much attention Heidi pays to Klara, he doesn't go as far as destroying Klara's wheelchair as he did in the book. It's actually Klara herself who does that; she had asked Alm-Uncle to put the wheelchair away so she could be more motivated to walk, but in a moment of weakness she tries to retrieve it and ends up accidentally pushing it down the mountain.
  • Adult Fear: Parents may fear this if they see their children standing at gunpoint even if they're not aiming at them, they still could get hurt.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
    • The opening theme was changed for South African TV to the famous German Heidi song. Also, the Italian version has a different ending theme.
    • The Spanish language versions (for both Spain and Latin America), and (at least) the Brazilian Portuguese version use an adapted version of the original Japanese opening theme.note 
  • Anachronism Stew: Heidi and Klara's grandmother often play rock-paper-scissors during the Frankfurt Arc. "Jankenpon" (as the game is known in Japan) was brought to the West in the wake of the 20th century; the story is set in the early 1880s.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rottenmeier, in the last episodes. Seeing her being comically unable to adapt herself to the Alps life is freaking cathartic.
  • Canon Foreigner: Josef, the St. Bernard dog was created just for this series.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Heidi sometimes qualifies for this, but it's probably due to her young age despite her incredible intelligence.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Or in this case, "Do not call me Adelheid". At least one scene in one episode has Heidi doing this to Miss Rottenmeier.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Peter is named Pedro in both Spanish dubs. Justified, since most Spanish (and Portuguese) translations of the book would use this name. The French version would also call him "Pierre".
    • Josef (the St. Bernard that lives with Heidi's grandfather) is often renamed in many other versions, including Niebla in both Spanish versions, Nebbia in the Italian version, Hercule in the French version, and Bernard in the English compilation film.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Like most other adaptations of her story, Heidi often goes barefoot whenever she has the chance.
  • Insistent Terminology: As with the book, and most other adaptations, Miss Rottenmeier insists on referring to Heidi by her full Christian name of "Adelheid" (or "Adelaide", depending on the translationnote )
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: While the Japanese pronounciation of Heidi's name ("Haiji") is understandable, in both Spanish versions, her name is pronounced "HEY-dee" for some reason. Subverted with Tinette, the maid, whose name is pronounced "Tinett-eh", also in both Spanish versions, but would be closer to the German pronounciation.note 
  • Redubbing: One of only a handful of animes to be dubbed in Afrikaans during Apartheid. note 
  • Solid Clouds: The intro shows Heidi lying on a cloud and gazing at the landscape below.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Though debatable... since Heidi doesn't know too much about guns, but in the scene where the hunters were about to shoot a deer, you'd think that she's afraid... but she's not. She then stands up for an argument and ends it by sticking her tongue out.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Heidi and Peter often get into fights over different things, usually due to Heidi's love for nature, but they always eventually reconcile.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: From the get-go, Heidi is a five-year-old orphan yet she seems to talk like an 8-year-old.note 
  • Yodel Land: Provide the trope picture. To be fair, it's based on a novel that thrives on Yodel Land.

Alternative Title(s): Heidi


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