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Series / Die Liewe Heksie

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They call me The Dear little Witch (her name's actually Livinia)

Die Liewe Heksie (Afrikaans for "Beloved Little Witch") was an Afrikaans work of fiction created by children's book author Verna Vels in 1961. It centres on Liewe Heksie, a rather incompetent and forgetful witch, who lives with her friends the elves in Bloemmieland ("Land of Flowers"), and whose general well-meaning ineptitude and lack of magic skills led to many funny situations. The Liewe Heksie series started off as radio stories, followed by books and stories on vinyl record. Liewe Heksie made a television debut in 1978 as an Afrikaans-language children's television programme which became a well-loved fixture of South African TV. A second series of Liewe Heksie followed in 1981, for a total of 52 television programs. The quality of the puppets, animation and sets vastly improves in the second series. The first series is available on You Tube, provided officially by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.. Not all the second series episodes are available on YouTube but a surprising number have been unofficially uploaded by fans.

Haie oe Bloemmie! Tropes inexpertly fumbled by Livinia include:

  • Adaptation Inspiration: Verna Vels was responsible for children's broadcasting on South African radio in the 1950s. and her working life involved sourcing and adapting suitable material from around the world. It is entirely possible that The Little Witch was inspired by the German children's novel The Little Witch (Die Kleine Hexe) written by Otfried Preussler in 1957. The content of the two stories, however, does not show too many similarities except for the idea of a well-meaning young witch who is at odds with her elder(s) in the Craft.
  • All Witches Have Cats: confusingly, Livinia has two. There is Mattewis, the kitten/cat whose function is to be a timid little kitty who miaows a lot and is the indispensable companion to a working witch. Then there is Karel Kat, her sophisticated friend, a sort of Non-Human Sidekick, who is essentially an anthropomorphic cat who dresses smartly, drives a smart car, and flies a helicopter. Karel and Mattewis are never really seen interacting.
  • Beach Episode: The Little Witch goes for a beach picnic with the Bloemmieland elves. Alas, while her back is turned, the evil GeleHeks kidnaps a baby elf. Livinia then has to interrupt her day at the beach to get him back. An Old-Timey Bathing Suit features. Livinia explains it's the only one she owns.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Livinia, while a bit dim, is young and appealingly featured. The friendly elves and the Fairy Queen are also attractive. The moral is that good-hearted people are visually pleasant to look at.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: two of them. The leeringly evil and totally inept pair of yellow goblins from Gifappeltjieland who serve the GeelHeks.
  • Cute Witch: Livinia herself qualifies. The illustrations in the original childrens' books make her look even cuter with blonder and better-kept hair.
  • Dumb Blonde: Lavinia is young, good-natured, blonde, and not terrifically bright or quick on the uptake. The original illustrated childrens' books make her even blonder. And just as slow to grasp essentials, such as do not take away the things holding your roof in place if the weather forecast predicts a gale.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The opening and closing theme song introduces the central characters and explains what Bloemmieland is. In the closing song, Lavinia sings about herself and why she is the Dear Little Witch.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: the wicked Yellow Witch and the goblins of the barren and sterile Gifappeltjieland. Even their country is ugly.
  • Furry Confusion: Karel can talk, drive a car, and do other human-like things, but Mattewis is mostly a normal cat.
  • Granola Girl: Livinia has aspects of this personality.
  • Magical Girl: Livinia doesn't appear to be very old. Especially next to her nemesis, the elderly and evil GeeleHeks.
  • Malaproper: Livinia has difficulty with long words and peoples' names. Her sophisticated friend Karel Kat has to gently correct her about his helicopter, for instance, not a mielecopter.
  • Meaningful Name: Bloemmieland, the land of flowers. Gifappeltjieland, the poisoned-apple country.
  • Parody: Comedian Casper de Vries did a wickedly funny send-up of the show with a pretty much adults-only slant. Apparently this was as shocking to South Africans who'd grown up on LH as vandalising the Blue Peter garden was to the British. American readers: think of the Family Guy skit where Stewie Griffin goes on a psychopathic rampage into the world of Mister Rogers. you just don't do it. Unless it's funny...
    • De Vries reprised this part in a second parody, this time of the Harry Potter franchise. At the end of the skit, "Harry Potgeier" and his chums Hermione and Barry are walking through the quad at Hogwarts, exulting at having won the battle and freeing the world of the evil Voldemart. Then a witch approaches, who they take to be another pupil. She throws back her hood and is revealed as Livinia die Liewe Heksie (also played by de Vries) who calls them a bunch of bastards, and rails at them for making her show look old hat, that all the kids in South Africa are into Harry Potgeier all of a sudden, nobody's watching her show any more, and above all, they're not buying Little Witch merchandise and tie-in books because you bastards are getting it all and that's my money supply drying up! Livinia/deVries then zaps Harry with some lethal spells and cackles as he dies, writhing in agony...
  • Sapient Steed: Griet the magical talking horse.
  • Sound-to-Screen Adaptation: the show began on radio.
  • Subverted Kids' Show: see notes on Parody, above.
  • Sugar Bowl: Bloemmielaand.
  • Talking Animal: Karel Kat the gifted feline friend, and Griet the magical horse.
  • Wicked Witch: The GeeleHeks, the old cackling crone who tries to steal the secret of Bloemmieland's beauty for her own barren wasteland.
  • The Wonderland: Bloemmieland.