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Trivia / Pippi Longstocking

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The books

  • Adaptation Overdosed: In order of release, there's...
    • A musical adaptation that premiered in 1946.
    • A 1949 film adaptation starring Viveca Serlachius.
    • An episode of the anthology series Shirley Temple's Storybook, released in 1961 and starring Gina Gillespie.
    • The 1969 TV series that aired on SVT in Sweden.
    • Two films featuring the cast of the 1969 series: Pippi in the South Seas and Pippi on the Run.
    • A 1980 stage adaptation that premiered at Folkan, a theater based in Stockholm.
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    • A 1982 animated film adaptation produced in the Soviet Union.
    • A 1985 TV special that aired on ABC as part of their "Weekend Specials", starring Carrie Kei Heim (who also played Cornelia in Santa Claus: The Movie that year).
    • The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)
    • A 1997 animated film TV series, both co-produced by Nelvana and starring Melissa Altro.
    • Two PC games, the first released in 1997 and the second in 2002.
    • A Nintendo DS/3DS game released in 2012.
  • Baby Name Trend Starter: The series popularized the name "Annika" outside of Scandinavia. While it's usually a diminutive for "Anna" there, in other countries it's used more as a name in its own right.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Pippi Longstocking has become one of Astrid Lindgren's heaviest hitters and the character has a strong following among children within decade upon decade of books, live-action films and TV series, as well as a theme park. The character is even featured on the Swedish 20-crown bill starting in 2015.
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  • Fountain of Expies: Pippi has served as the inspiration for a lot of spunky red-haired heroines over the years. One notable modern example is Lisbeth Salander of The Millennium Trilogy (although she dyes her hair jet black), and it's even lampshaded in one of the books.
  • Name's the Same: Clefairy is called Pippi in Japan.
  • Word of Dante: Everybody in Sweden knows that Pippi's horse is named Lilla Gubben. This name never appears in the books, who simply refers to Pippi's horse as "Pippi's horse." The name incidentally means "Little Old Man" and originated in the 1969 TV series — though even there, Tommy (as the voiceover narrator) explains that the horse doesn't have a real name; "Lilla Gubben" is an affectionate term Pippi uses when talking to him.note 

The live-action TV series and films

  • Author Existence Failure: Jan Johansson, who wrote the music and the theme song for the 1969 Swedish TV series, died in a car accident on November 9, 1968, three months before the series was to air.
  • Box Office Bomb: The 1988 film adaptation The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking only grossed $3.6 million against an $8-10 million budget. This would not be the last Lindgren film to fail at the box office.
  • Dawson Casting: For the 1949 film adaptation, Viveca Serlachius portrayed Pippi, despite being only 26 years old at the time. Unfortunately, this didn't sit well with Lindgren.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Astrid Lindgren herself did not like the end result of the 1949 film adaptation due to the casting of Viveca Serlachius, then 26 years old, to play the titular character as well as Per Gunvall's extensive rewrites of her source material. Eventually, Lindgren decided to script any further adaptations of her books, including the 1969 TV adaptation of Pippi Longstocking.
  • Executive Meddling: For the 1949 film, director and writer Per Gunvall made several alterations to Lindgren's books to include various Scandinavian celebrities of the day. Astrid Lindgren didn't have positive things to say about it and that experience led to Lindgren scripting any future adaptations of her works.
  • Fake American: English-born Fay Masterson plays the head orphanage girl with an American accent in The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.
  • Fake Nationality: Germans Margot Trooger, Hans Clarin and Paul Esser play the Swedish Mrs. Prysellius, Thunder-Karlsson and Bloom, respectively.
  • International Coproduction:
    • The 1970 films were produced by Svensk Filmindustri and Nord Art in Sweden, and Iduna Film and Beta Film in Germany.
    • The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking was co-produced by Columbia Pictures in the United States and Svensk Filmindustri in Sweden.
  • Invisible Advertising: The 1988 film had a thousand prints released nationwide when it was first released on July 29. By August 5, however, no press ads were made for the film according to Ken Annakin.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The 1949 film never made it to a DVD/Blu-ray release, meaning that fans will have to hunt down an old copy of the film if they want to watch it.
    • The 1985 TV special that aired on ABC in North America has yet to receive a home media release. As such, the best bet for fans would be to trade with someone who recorded that special off of ABC.
  • Recursive Import: The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, which was produced in the United States, was released in Sweden and it didn't go over well for the critics there.
  • Screwed by the Network: About one week after the 1988 film opened, Columbia pulled all press advertisements.
  • Self-Adaptation: Astrid Lindgren rewrote her books for the 1969 TV series and 1970 films herself.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: For The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking:
    • Producer Gary Mehlman acquired the rights in 1984 as a favor for his daughters, Romy and Alexandra, who watched the original Swedish films. While Mehlman was negotiating with Astrid Lindgren and Svensk Filmindustri (who holds the rights to the films and TV series in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries), she was initially hesitant about Mehlman's offer to buy the film rights. When she met Mehlman's daughters, however, she accepted his offer. As a bonus, Romy got to play Lisa in the film.
    • One of executive producer Mishaal Kamal Adham's motivations to get involved the film was that his two daughters also watched the Swedish films.
  • Throw It In!: Tami Erin improvised most of her dialogue in The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking... not with the setting itself, considering it mostly appears to take place in the 1940s, however, most of Harriet Schock and Misha Segal's songs used in the movie, with the latter's synthesized underscores, have obvious 80s vibes to them.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • At one point in 1971, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata planned to work on anime adaptation of Pippi, however when they went to get personal permission from Lindgren, they were denied and the project was canceled. Some samples of Miyazaki's lovely artwork for the project still exist and can be seen here. Then in 1972 Miyazaki and Takahata created another anime called "Panda Kopanda" (in English "Panda! Go Panda!"), and the heroine Mimiko is a spunky, pig-tailed redhead who is an orphan and lives by herself in a house with animals. A lot of the concept art did make it into later pictures though, especially the extensive background work in Visby and Stockholm which became most of the backgrounds for Kiki's Delivery Service. Pippi's braids are resurrected in the pirate queen from Laputa, who has a youthful portrait in her airship cabin looking suspiciously like Pippi...
    • For The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking:
      • The film was to begin production in the summer of 1986, but Producers Sales Organization, which was to be involved in the film, shut down due to bankruptcy. In April 1987, Columbia Pictures replaced PSO as its primary distributor for the film in North America.
      • Fay Masterson was in the running for Pippi Longstocking before Tami Erin was attached to the role. Masterson would later play the head girl in the childrens' home.
      • Kimi Peck and Paul Haggis were in the running to write the script before Ken Annakin came on board.
      • North Carolina and Germany were scouted as filming locations before the crew settled on Jacksonville, Florida.

The 1997 film and TV Series

  • Box Office Bomb: The film did even worse in America in part due to a limited release. Budget, $11.5 million. Box office, $505,335.
  • Creator Backlash: Astrid Lindgren disliked the idea of having Pippi animated, and claims that she was convinced by Nelvana to allow them to do an Animated Adaptation. Although her final thoughts on the film weren't actually recorded, it is notable that the next animated adaptation of another Lindgren book, Karlsson on the Roof, was given much stricter guidelines for script, design and tone by The Astrid Lindgren Company. Lindgren died seven months before the latter film's release.
  • Fake Nationality: The series features Canadian actors primarily playing the Swedish characters, although they never bother using accents.
  • International Coproduction: Both the film and TV Series were produced by Svensk Filmindustri in Sweden, Taurus Film and TFC Trickompany in Germany, and Nelvana in Canada. They also co-produced with Germany's Iduna Film and Beta Film for the film and with Canada's Teletoon for the TV series. Coincidentally, both Nelvana and Teletoon are owned by Corus Entertainment.
  • Now Which One Was That Voice?: The end credits on the 1998 series only feature a list of the main voice actors. Any supporting and minor roles remain unknown.
  • The Other Darrin: The 1997 animated film and subsequent animated series share a large amount of cast and crew but Catherine O'Hara is replaced by Jill Frappier and her fellow SCTV member Dave Thomas has his duties taken over by Len Carlson. Additionally, the schoolteacher has a different (unidentified) voice actress than the film featuring singer Carole Pope.

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