On DVD available exclusively at Walmart from Ominbus Entertainment and director Alain Gsponer comes the tale of a young girl who capitives everyone with “Heidi.”
Heidi (Anuk Steffen) meets her Grandfather Alpohi (Bruno Ganz) when the young girls’ Aunt Dete (Anna Schinz) has no where else to leave her. The Grandfather has a reputation with the locals as an angry man who hasn’t a kind word or deed for anyone. Heidi isn’t scared of her Grandfather, in fact she is delighted to be outside in the fresh air and greenery.
Heidi even makes friends with the young goat herder Peter (Quirin Agrippi) as they spend time taking care of Grandfathers goats. Unexpectedly, Aunt Dete shows up ready to take Heidi back but Grandfather isn’t having it and tells her to leave.
That doesn’t stop Aunt Dete when she finds Heidi on the mountain and scoops her away to Frankfurt to live in the home of a young girl in a wheelchair named Klara Sesemann (Isabelle Ottmann). Grandfather is beside himself but the town’s people jeer at him happy that Heidi is away from him.
Nanny Fraulein Rottenmeier (Katharina Schuttler) keeps an eye on both girls running a strict household and not to happy with Heidi. The two girls become fast friends but that doesn’t stop Heidi from missing her beautiful mountains and Grandfather. When Klara’s father Herr Sesemann (Maxim Mehmet) sees how happy his daughter is, returning Heidi to Grandfather isn’t something he wants to do.
But Klara’s Grandmother (Hannelore Hoger) has come to care for Heidi and sees that the young girl is torn. With the help of the staff Heidi is told she is going home and Klara is inconsolable. Back in the mountains Heidi immediately returns to the life of open skies, green grass and goats.
Grandmother comes for a visit asking Grandfather if Klara can stay for a while visiting with Heidi. Happy to share her life with Klara, Heidi takes her anywhere the wheelchair can go. Peter isn’t happy feeling left out of Heidi’s friendship and one moment of anger changes everything for Klara!
One little girl brings out the best in them all.
Steffen as Heidi is adorable but then again she would have to be. Playing this iconic role, this young actress does an amazing job. Ganz as Grandfather doesn’t want anything to do with Heidi but his heart quickly melts and having her in his life becomes extremely important.
Ganz as Grandfather begins with a wall between he and the young girl. Told that he should take care of his own granddaughter, it is only a matter of time before he experiences something missing in his life — love. Ganz gives the role the right touch of a man wanting to be alone until his own family needs him.
Schinz as Aunt Dete doesn’t have what’s best for Heidi at heart and is, to my way of thinking, worse than Grandfather. Taking her far away is heartbreaking and dropping Heidi off like luggage made me think ‘good riddance’. That makes for a good performance!
Ottoman as Klara is just as afraid as Heidi even if for different reasons. Heidi gives this confined young girl a reason to want something more. Schuttler as Fraulein Rottenmeier doesn’t think much of Heidi and has no problem showing her distain but that doesn’t stop the mountain girl from winning everyone else over.
Hoger as Klara’s Grandmother clearly sees what is happening to both Klara and Heidi and even proves that Heidi can be taught. Son Herr Sesemann played by Mehmet is still refusing to deal with the loss of his wife or that his daughter is in a wheelchair but life has a way of surprising them all.
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Johanna Spyri wrote the novel “Heidi” in 1880, which has become an all-time children’s classic. Actually written as a two-volume novel of “Heidi: Her Years of Wandering and Learning” and “Heidi: How She Used What She Learned” has been translated into more than 50 languages from the original German. It has brought plays, films and television shows and I don’t see that stopping any time soon.
This story brings family together with this Dove Foundation Family Approved film. That is important to those wanting to extend their home entertainment library to include films the whole family can enjoy together.
“Heidi” is about love, loyalty, friendship, learning who you are and what you can accomplish and, most importantly, being true to yourself and your dreams. I can’t imagine “Heidi” doing anything less.
In the end — she continues to be a timeless classic little girl!