Pippi Longstocking (TV Series 1969) Poster

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The ultimate adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's famous character!
ryuuseipro10 October 2010
Besides being one of my favorite girl characters, the wild, untamed, and super-strong Pippi Longstocking (known in Sweden as Pippi Långstrump) has become my favorite superheroine, bar-none. Despite being the proverbial bull in a china house, Pippi is very innocent and playful, and treats everyone as equals. She's a heroine to all children, especially her best friends Tommy and Annika Settergren (who are the exact opposite of her; clean-cut and well-behaved), and is very nice to well-meaning adults (despite their having weak constitutions over her mischievous behavior). She only reserves her worst behavior on bullies and condescending adults. (And even villains like crooks, pirates, etc.) People may question Pippi as a role-model, which is understandable, but I saw her as an exciting, funny, and lovable character. And she deserves to be the empowerment figure fans young and old look to her as.

I had finally watched all 13 episodes of this 1969 TV series, based on the "Pippi Longstocking" books by Astrid Lindgren (which I had read before seeing this series; I had only seen bits and pieces until then).

This is technically the third adaptation of Pippi Longstocking (the first, made in 1949, cast 26-year old Viveca Serlachius in the title role; and Gina Gillespie was the first child actress and American to play Pippi in an adaptation for SHIRLEY TEMPLE'S STORYBOOK in 1961), but frankly, this series is the crowning achievement of all adaptations of the character. (I do, however, also like the critically-lambasted American 1988 film with Tami Erin; That was my first exposure to Pippi, leading to my interest in the books and this series.) One ingredient for this series' success is the fact that Astrid Lindgren herself did the screenplays for the whole series, not to mention that she was very proud of it. (A much deserved opportunity, as she was unhappy with the 1949 adaptation.) Yes, there are some changes, but otherwise, this series is *remarkably* true to the books! Even if you don't understand Swedish (I think this entire series truly deserves a subtitled release in the US!), you'll nonetheless know what's going on, if you already read the books. The result is a series that's every bit as fun and compelling as the books, so much that you'll wish there were more episodes!

It goes without saying that 9-year old Inger Nilsson has magically captured the very spirit of Pippi from the books. (She also superbly resembles Ingrid Vang Nyman's illustrations from the original Swedish books!) She did such a wonderful job of handling the difficult and demanding responsibility of playing a world-beloved character. (She also sang the series' classic theme song in the Swedish version!) Pär Sundberg and Maria Persson as Pippi's best friends Tommy and Annika share the same screen power as their freckled companion, given that they're essentially the main protagonists of the story by default. And of course, there's Pippi's little monkey companion Mr. Nilsson, and her spotted horse Lilla Gubben (originally unnamed in the books). The rest of the cast is great! There's Ulf G. Johnsson and Göthe Grefbo as the inept cops Kling and Klang (also originally unnamed in the books), Fredrik Ohlsson and Öllegård Wellton as Mr. and Mrs. Settergren, and veteran Beppe Wolgers as Pippi's jolly father, Captain Efraim Longstocking. German cast members Margot Trooger (as Ms. Prysselius, a character created especially for the series), Hans Clarin, and Paul Esser (as the thieves Thunder-Karlsson and Bloom, respectively) were dubbed in the Swedish version, but nonetheless did a superb job in their roles. (As this series was a German co-production, the three actors were on loan from Germany.) Director Olle Hellbom did such a remarkable job helming the entire series. His direction really did justice in bringing the wonderful world in the original books to life, with a timeless and beautiful neo-1930s-style setting. The sets especially had distinct styles to them, from Villa Villekulla (Pippi's colorful, ramshackle cottage) to the signs in the town shops. We also get to see many of the beautiful Swedish landscapes the characters travel to, from beaches, to gardens, to rivers. There are also some very good special effects, from Pippi lifting her horse (an iconic image often associated with her) to other amazing feats! They may seem outdated or "cheesy" to some, but for exceptional television budgets, they are very imaginative and spectacular. The late Jan Johannson's African samba-style theme song, "Here Comes Pippi Longstocking" ("Här Kommer Pippi Långstrump"), written by Astrid Lindgren and sung by Inger Nilsson in the Swedish version, is so unbelievably cool and catchy! It really gave Pippi a very exotic and outlandish feel. Georg Riedel's music score is awesome! Lots of beautiful tracks, comical ones, even atmospheric ones. You wish it would get a CD release. Riedel did many of the other songs in the show as well.

The episodes themselves? It's hard for me to pick a favorite, as they're all memorable and have a very strong continuity. It's very close to the book, so you know what to expect. But I'd rather not go into any comparisons here, as my descriptions would not do this series any justice. It has to be seen to be believed! The series was followed by two theatrical films, PIPPI IN THE SOUTH SEAS, and PIPPI ON THE RUN (both 1970), both of which I'll review later. The entire series would be edited into two compilation films, PIPPI LONGSTOCKING and PIPPI GOES ON BOARD, which are still fun to watch, but they don't do the series any justice! These are from which the series got the most exposure in the US (in kiddie matinées and television), and that's all right with me.

In closing, this series is a classic in any language or format! The original Swedish-language version is definitely the best, as you get to really appreciate the performance of the cast. Highly recommended!
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With great power comes great arrogance
Chip_douglas19 November 2005
This is the timeless (well almost) television series based on Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Långstrump books that is still seen all of the world today. Pippi lives on her own, has super-strength (and later on develops some more mutant abilities) and is prone to mood swings. Oh yes, she also lies all the time. Naturaly she befriends a brother and sister who are the exact opposite of her, Tommy & Annika: two squeaky clean blond haired model children who never did or said anything wrong their entire lives (till they met Pippi). Pippi gets around spending ducats left by her seafaring father, who used to be a pirate, but has recently become 'negro-king' on an unknown island (not very PC, but it's the late sixties). She also takes her monkey and horse almost everywhere.

All the best bits of this series were edited into a movie of the same name, in which Pippi's rascally nature was somewhat lessened by leaving out some of her nastier pranks while leaving in all the scenes where she prays to her departed mother. 1970 saw the production of another two movies: "Pippi Långstrump på de sju haven" and "På rymmen med Pippi Långstrump". The stories became even more far fetched and the three leads had obviously suffered from a growth spurt (Pippi's braids could not stick up straight anymore). These adventures were added to the TV series on each subsequent showing, bringing the total episode count up to 21. Last, and definitely least, some greedy producers took the material from the original series that had not been used in the first feature and crudely edited it together into a fourth film, "Här kommer Pippi Långstrump" (1973). The result was a bit of a mess, beginning with the final scenes from the first movie and then jumping back to stuff from the first episode.

There were no more new episodes produced after 1970 because the children were getting too old (and the stories too far fetched). But thanks to reruns and the series being dubbed into a thousand languages, Pippi is still very popular today, with both the series and the films receiving regular airplay (and available to buy). Although there have been other versions of the story before and after, most people will agree Inger Nilsson is the definitive Långstrump, and despite being a terrible role model, we can't help but love her. Children should learn the benefits of confidence and arrogance as soon as possible anyway.

8 out of 10
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Great childhood memories of the 70s
RealLiveClaude23 April 2014
Used to watch this series every Saturday morning on the french CBC network in Canada. Though the series was well dubbed in Belgium (and the movies were dubbed in Canada later...), it was the funniest and most original series ever come from Europe. It made me discover Sweden as well. It has an international touch in which the location would not matter here...

If Pippi (or Fifi in french) had a few tricks on her dress to avoid the cops or the old lady who wants to bring her to an orphanage, she was real kind to her best friends Tommy and Anika, and always was eager to help. And she loved her animals, especially her horse and the pet monkey.

I liked the first season due to its freshness and originality. The "pirates" one and the 3rd season are less interesting.

Wish there would be a DVD in French for this wonderful show...
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Good series
Abzster2 March 2019
Always loved Pippi as a child and still do to this day! I've always wondered who did the English voice dubs on the series?
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