A 1997 French/Canadian animated series created by CineGroupe and Saban Entertainment subsidiary Saban International Paris, very loosely based on the younger years of Elisabeth of Bavaria.
More specifically, the story focuses on the plucky young farm girl nicknamed Sissi who falls in love with Prince Franz from Austria. The rest of the series tells of the trials and troubles it takes for the two of them to actually get married. There's her future mother-in-law, who's looking for a better girl to marry her son; political tensions, Sissi's own father, and lots of danger and wacky adventures in between.
The show aired in France, Canada, Italy, Germany, Greece, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, and some countries of Latin America (through Discovery Channel in the late 90s). Several DVDs have been released in Germany.
Tropes related to the series:
- Arranged Marriage: Several attempts.
- Artistic Licence History: In spades.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Arkas holds the title of Count and is one the two main villains of the series.
- Beta Couple: Colonel Andrassy and Ida.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Arkas and Zotornick. They are both two of the few villains or antagonists not to undergo a HeelFace Turn and are the ones who are defeated in the climax of the final episode.
- Catchphrase: Tina's cute "Simple as that!" Also, Fritz's ridiculous "My golly!", which is mocked when Sissi tries to expose him.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Sissi seems to suffer from it, rescuing a girl from a roof and Helene among others even when inconvenient.
- Conveniently an Orphan: Young Tommy, Sissi's friend and most regular sidekick, was raised in a Bavarian orphanage before running away to live in the forest. He and his father finally find each other in episode 43, although they do not realize it until 47.
- Country Mouse: Sissi
- Feuding Families
- Gilded Cage: One episode title refers to this, as when Sissi is alone as royalty without Franz, she's trapped into learning dull manners.
- Gold Digger: Helene wants to marry Franz to be the Empress.
- Happily Married: Sissi's parents, Duke Max and Ludovica, are very much in love.
- Historical Beauty Update: Not so much with Sissi, who was beautiful to begin with, but Franz and others are really egregious cases.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: While Sissi was very beautiful in Real Life, she was much more of a Broken Bird, unable to withstand the pressure coming from the Habsburg Court and plagued by disgraces and illnesses. The TV series makes her a borderline Purity Sue instead.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Helene. In Real Life, after an Heroic BSoD that almost had her becoming a nun, Nene actually got over Franz and was Happily Married to the Prince of Thurn Und Taxis (And not to mention, she and Sissi were close enough to have Sissi right next to Nene's deathbed when she died). In the series, she's an ungrateful and clingy Gold Digger who hates Sissi with all of her soul and won't stop causing trouble to her.
- Historical Fiction
- Hot-Blooded: Morgash, the second-in-command of the Hungarian rebellion. His tendency to make rush judgement and use violence causes many problems. When he is spurned by Sissi, and led to believe it is because she is in love with Gyula Andrassy, he tries to get her arrested.
- Jerkass: Count Arkas and Helena are both lacking in anything resembling redeeming qualities.
- Meaningful Name: Sissi's horse's name means "turbulent wind" in German.
- Multicolored Hair: Sissi has pale yellow bangs and the rest of her hair is honey-auburn. No explanation why.
- Obnoxious In-Laws: Mean old Empress Sophia, constantly coming up with other brides for Franz.
- Obviously Evil: One should really wonder why Empress Sophia trusts Councillor Zotornick so blindly, given his pale scrawny face, Evil Eyebrows, bald head and his deep sounding voice. He really looks like someone you should trust blindly, don't you think?
- Parental Marriage Veto
- Pet the Dog: Empress Sophia is a snobbish Control Freak who adheres to protocol like a religion, but she has been known to show leniency when humbled or impressed enough. She improves vastly in episode 45, when she finally approves of Sissi and becomes more open to breaking tradition.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Especially that wedding dress!
- Pink Means Feminine: Some of her dresses, including her peasant dress.
- Plucky Girl: Sissi
- Pretty in Mink: Sissi has a white winter coat trimmed with fur.
- Puppet King: What Councillor Zotornick tries to turn Empress Sophia into. The reason he is so against Sissi marrying Franz is because he knows he can't control her so easily.
- Requisite Royal Regalia
- Saving the Orphanage: Sissi almost can't thanks to political slander but succeeds anyways.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Helene, even after Sissi saves her from drowning.