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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. The adaptation is notable for being directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Hayao Miyazaki - in other words, the core of what would become Studio Ghibli.
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, being Moe Moe, quickly melts the old man's heart and makes a friend in Peter, a goatherd six year 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 Clara will be allowed to visit her there. Which just happens to be exactly what Clara needs for her health...
Heidi was a big success, and it is still fondly remembered in Japan and many foreign countries. 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 and it's rated G. 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 Frogger.
Heidi Girl Of The Alps has examples of:
- 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.
- Big Fancy House
- Big Friendly Dog: Grandfather has a dog named Joseph. Predictably, the "pup" is a HUGE Saint Bernard.
- Break the Cutie: Heidi, after being sent to Frankfurt and is treated cruely.
- Butt Monkey: Rottenmeier, in the last episodes. Seeing her being comically unable to adapt herself to the Alps life is freaking cathartic.
- Cheerful Child: Heidi and Peter.
- Children Raise You
- Cloudcuckoolander: Heidi sometimes qualifies for this, but it's probably due to her young age despite her incredible intelligence
- Grumpy Old Man
- Friend or Foe: Heidi and Peter often get into fights over different things possibly due to Heidi's love for nature. Averted, they eventually reconcile and then break up again.
- Heartwarming Orphan: Heidi
- Ill Girl: Klara
- Lonely Rich Kid: Klara
- Large Ham: Heidi
- Loners Are Freaks: Grandpa
- Names to Know In Anime: It has a top notch cast for its day: Kazuko Sugiyama (Heidi), Noriko Ohara (Peter), Rihoko Yoshida (Klara), Miyoko Aso (Rottenmeier)...
- Took a Level In Jerkass: 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 arguement and ends it by sticking her tongue out.
- 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.
- Yodel Land
- ↑ Specifically, the second "yodeling" part