|Original title: Arupusu no shojo Haiji|
Characters: Heidi, Peter, Grandfather, Clara Seseman, Peter's grandmother, Mrs. Rottenmeier, Brigida, Sebastiano, Tinette, Giovanni, Signor Seseman, Signora Seseman, Dottor Classen, Zia Dete
Production: Zuiyo Eizo
Regia: Isao Takahata
Year: January 6 1974
Broadcast in Italy: February 7
duration: 24 minutes
Recommended age: Children from 6 to 12 years old
("Alps no Shojo Heidi" in the Japanese original) is a cartoon series that was broadcast on RAIUNO in 1978 and saw its enormous success, practically kicked off the great wave of Japanese cartoons that were broadcast in our country, in subsequent years. It is by far the first Shojo broadcast in Italy, that is, those Japanese cartoons intended for boys and girls, after Heidi arrived Candy Candy, Remi
, the bee Magà and many others. Heidi represented a real phenomenon for those years, thanks to the quality of the animations, the landscapes, the backgrounds, but above all from Heidi herself from which good feelings and positivity shone: candor, tenderness, friendship, freedom, love for nature, genuineness , etc ... so much so that still today it is taken as a reference point as an emblem of those who live a healthy life in contact with nature in the mountains. It is no coincidence that Heidi was represented as a red-cheeked girl who looked like a portrait of health. To make this character even more famous was the famous theme song sung by Elisabetta Viviani who surprisingly jumped into the Top 10 of the 45 best-selling laps in Italy. The cartoon was made by Taurus Film and Toei animation from 1974 and among the cast of animators we also find prominent names such as the great Hayao Miyazaki (see Conan the boy of the future, Lupine III, The enchanted city ) and Isao Takata (see Red-haired Anna and A tomb for fireflies).
The cartoon of Heidi, based on the novel by the Swiss writer Johanna Spyri has been divided into 52 episodes. She is a Swiss little girl from the village of Mayenfeld, who has been orphaned of both her father and mother, for this reason her aunt Dete, after the little girl lived with her until the age of five, decided to give her to her grandfather who lived alone in a mountain hut. Aunt Date could no longer take care of Heidi as she had found a job in Frankfurt and her grandfather represented the close relative who had the little orphan. On the way that will take her to her grandfather's hut, Heidi knows the shepherd boy Peter and makes friends with his goats, together they will compete in a speed race among the green meadows. Arriving at the hut Heidi is initially surprised and intrigued by the attitude of her grandfather, very taciturn and surly, a man who chose to live away from the people and who now found himself in charge of that child. But soon the grandfather became attached to his granddaughter Heidi, thanks to his sympathy and innocence and a little at a time he introduced her to the charm of mountain life made of climbing the mountains, racing on the meadows, tasty cheese, milking of goats, of friendship with the animals of the forest etc ... Heidi's grandfather also possessed a huge St. Bernard as taciturn as his master, who was called Fog of which Heidi initially had a certain fear. Heidi also spent some wonderful nights sleeping in the attic, in her comfortable straw bed and from the window of the hut, she could also observe a magnificent starry sky.
Mountain life returned to Heidi that happiness that had been denied to her at an early age and although her grandfather could not replace the affection of a father and mother, Heidi as an unhappy child as she was, soon became a child full of desire for live and playfulness. Heidi and Peter became inseparable friends who had fun with all the gifts that nature offered him, such as snow, spring, running on the lawns etc ... But to spoil this idyllic life, Aunt Dete thinks about it, who takes it away from her grandfather and sends her to study in Frankfurt to be a companion in Clara, a rich and invalid child who lives with her father
In addition, Mrs. Rottenmeier's grim severity, who saw her as a little savage, made her feel humiliated and confused. Heidi however she conveys enthusiasm and desire to live in Clara, who is fascinated by her stories and descriptions of life at the hut. A scene that summarizes the theme of the story is that in which Heidi, very naively, opens the cage to Clara's bird and makes it fly free. That gesture helps to convey to Clara a great desire to live and also to react to her illness in order to get to know the world. Meanwhile, Mrs. Rottenmeier bears less and less Heidi and the drop that makes the vase overflow is when she finds out that Heidi is wandering around the house at night because she suffers from sleepwalking. Clara's father understands that the mountains are a good place for Heidi, so she returns her to her grandfather. However, the friendship with Clara does not end there and the two girls continue to write to each other. Clara feels very sad because of Heidi's departure, therefore the summer herself decides to visit her at the hut. Thanks to the mountain air, to the carefree life and friendship of Heidi and Peter, Clara reacts positively to her illness and one day, terrified of a cow heading towards her, she stood up on her own, thus winning the his paralysis. When her father and Mrs Rottenmeier joined her, they were amazed at the progress the girl had made.
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