Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Photo Credit: Heidi's Land
When I was a little girl (that seems like eons ago now) I used to watch Heidi, a Swiss TV serie based on the novel HEIDI by Swiss writer Johanna Spyri. Oh how I waited impatiently for each episode and nearly cried when the story ended! Mrs. Spyri created very friendly characters and you couldn't help but fall in love with them!

Photo Credit : Renaud Bray

I have ready the French Version only but I would like to read the English version as well and this one seems to have great watercolor illustrations from Maja Dusikova!

Photo Credit : Austria Forum

Her illustrated book is available in English, French and German as well.

Photo Credit : North South

Edit: Leanne who has a website dedicated to Vintage Books for the VeryYoung has blogged about two vintage picture books about Heidi.  Thanks Leanne for letting me know! :)

The story is about Heidi, an orphan girl who lives with her Grandfather in the Alps. Heidi loves her life up in the mountain with her Grandfather, her friend Peter the goat herder and his blind Grandmother. They also become very attached to her.  But her aunt wants her to have a better education so she takes her to Frankfurt to be the friend to a rich but lonely and paralyzed young girl, Clara Sesemann.   The story is very heart-warming and the TV adaptation did a really great job in showcasing all the details that made this story so wonderful.

Photo Credit : Heidi's Land
There have been many cartoons and movies inspired by this novel and one of the most famous being the 1937 Heidi version with Shirley Temple.  There are other versions that I viewed but they did not really make a lasting impression on me.  Some were enjoyable but none gave me the same feeling I had with that TV serie from my childhood memories .
I longed to watch it again and I searched for a DVD version which I soon found on Amazon UK and Amazon FR!  I have seen the French version so I decided to get the Heidi French 12-DVD Complete Pack but because my nephews/nieces cannot speak French, I also bought the English dubbed version which is available in a two volume package : Heidi - Part 1 (with two DVDs) and Heidi - Part 2 (also with two DVDs).

Edit : To clarify about the English DVDs.

The entire TV serie are contained in those two DVD package. Each DVD has 2 discs containing 13 episodes for a total of 26 episodes and they are exactly like the TV format which means at the start of each episode you will see the opening sequence and at the end you will see the end credit.  Here below are the title of each episodes.

Volume 1:
  1. The Village
  2. Ohi of the Alps
  3. Peter the Goat Herder
  4. The Grandmother
  5. Winter
  6. The Departure
  7. Arrival in Frankfurt
  8. The Sesemann House
  9. A Trip
  10. Unrest in the Sesemann House
  11. A Cabinet Full of Rolls
  12. Herr Sesemann
  13. The Granmamma
Volume 2:
  1. Homesick
  2. The Ghost
  3. The Journey Home
  4. At Home Again
  5. Surprises
  6. The Reconciliation
  7. The Old Doctor
  8. A Visit From Frankfurt
  9. In the Winter House
  10. Clara Arrives
  11. The Wheelchair
  12. The Telegram
  13. Happy Ending

I don't have any complaints about the quality of the image although it is a bit grainy but taking into consideration that this was made in 1978 (No, I didn't watch it in 1978!), I think it is quite acceptable.  The English dubbing however is not my favorite.  The dubbing voices were good but they were difficult to understand at times and the voice volume too low compared to the background volume.  For example, you could hear very well the door creaking but their voices were hardly audible.  If you watched it in a house full of activity (like mine always is) then you might miss out on a lot.  Only if the house is very quiet can you hear clearly the conversation.
I showed the DVDs to the children and they did like it. It was a good occasion to teach them about how people lived back then, without a sink for the bathroom, without cars, etc.  I also had to explain a great deal about the german language because the characters would address to each other by saying "Herr", "Fräu" and "Fräulein"and say "Auf Wiedersehen", etc.
If you want to find out more about the TV serie, there is this wonderful website Heidi's Land which has tons of pictures (check out the MAKING OF section!), information and interesting biography concerning the actors.  The website is only in French though.

I wished more children could watch this because it is such a charming story and also because it makes them think about their own very comfortable life filled with materialistic belongings and they inevitably realize that true happiness does not lie in the amount of toys one has but rather in the strong bonds and relationships between your loved ones.


  1. Great message for our times, isn't it? Nice post! xo Jennifer

    1. Thanks Jennifer. It is a message that will always be good to share :)

  2. Great post! Here's my Heidi post from a few months back if you want to have a look.
    So are you back to work now? How are you and baby doing?

    1. I just went to take a look! Such pretty books!!!

    2. Hi!

      I have been searching for this version of Heidi ever since I was a little girl. I remember seeing the television series and crying my eyes out every time the end music came. I'm still remembered by that by my siblings :) The picture you have of the dvd's, are they devided into episodes or it is just "movie part one, movie part two"? Where can I get this? Where can I buy these from? I hope you can help me :)

    3. Hi Karina,

      I bought the English DVDs from Amazon UK. I linke it on the post above so you can click on it and it will direct you to the items. If you can't find it, please let me know :)

      The entire TV serie are contained in those two DVDs. Each have 13 episodes for a total of 26 episodes and they are exactly like the TV format which means at the start of each episode you will see the opening sequence and at the end you will see the end credit. Let me know if you have other questions :)