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Pippi Longstocking (TV Series 1969) Poster

Trivia

The house used for Villa Villekulla was located in Vibble in Gotland, Sweden. Since early-to-mid 1970, the house was sold, and the garden was taken out. Thus, its last regular appearance would be in the film Pippi in the South Seas (1970). In the next (and last) film, Pippi on the Run (1970), the house, still used, could not be fully seen (it was in the process of being transported), and was placed in two noticeably different locations: on a grassy hill by the sea (early in the film), and an open field in a forest (a little later in two scenes, when the house was last shown), and both locations had no fence like the original; full exterior shots were done with a miniature model. The house had been transported to Kneippbyns Summerland in Gotland (just three kilometers away from its original location in Vibble), where it stands to this day, and has become a popular tourist attraction. Meanwhile, the original garden spot where Villa Villekulla was once situated can be seen when visiting Toftavägen. A scots pine tree has grown on the spot where the house originally stood.
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The monkey playing Mr. Nilsson behaved violently on occasion, and was hated by the entire crew. It bit an electrician's hand, and peed on Inger Nilsson, who played Pippi.
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A book about the production of the series revealed that Margot Trooger, who played Ms. Prysselius, was not always sober when acting.
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The original Swedish version comprised of 13 TV episodes, followed the next year by 2 original theatrical feature films Pippi in the South Seas (1970), and finally, Pippi on the Run (1970). In West Germany (where the series was co-produced), there were 4 theatrical films (the first two being Pippi Longstocking (1969) and Pippi Goes on Board (1969), which were compilations of the TV series, done by the German studios Iduna Film and Beta Film; the last two being, of course, "Pippi in the South Seas" and "Pippi on the Run."), and the TV series ran for 21 episodes (the first 13 match the original Swedish version, and the additional 8 episodes were 4-part serialized versions of "Pippi in the South Seas" and "Pippi on the Run," including several deleted scenes from both films).
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The exterior of Villa Villekulla (Pippi's house) is a house located in Gotland (see another trivia entry in this section for more information about the house), whereas the house's actual on-screen interior was in a big soundstage at Svensk Filmindustri in Stockholm. The cast of the series appearing in and out of the house (particularly Inger Nilsson as Pippi, Pär Sundberg as Tommy, and Maria Persson as Annika, as well as the animals playing Mr. Nilsson and Lilla Gubben) would be flown from Gotland to Stockholm and back again for all exterior/interior shots.
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Although this series was filmed in color, it was originally broadcast in B&W, as Sweden did not broadcast color television until April 1, 1970.
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The African samba-style theme song, "Här kommer Pippi Långstrump" ("Here Comes Pippi Longstocking") was sung in the original Swedish version by star Inger Nilsson, and written by Astrid Lindgren (the author of the original books). It was composed by jazz musician Jan Johansson, who used the performances of the Ghana Police Orchestra as one of his inspirations for the song. Sadly, it would also be one of Jan's last works, as he met his untimely death in a car crash on November 9, 1968 (at the age of 37), while the series was still in production.
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The character of Ms. Prysselius (Margot Trooger) was not in the original books by Astrid Lindgren, and was created especially for this series. However, the character would appear in every adaptation ever after.
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Pippi's horse was never named in the books (and was simply called "Horse"). In this series, the horse is named "Lilla Gubben" (Swedish for "Little Old Man"). While filming of the series was under way, Inger Nilsson (who played Pippi) petted the horse at the studio, and said to it, "Yes you, little old man." Director Olle Hellbom overheard this and thought it was the perfect name for the nameless horse. "Lilla Gubben" had since become the official name for the character in Sweden, especially in licensing.
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The production of this series was a bit too expensive for Swedish studios at the time, so they received financial support from the West German film companies, Iduna Film and Beta Film, the latter of which cooperated in exchange for distribution rights to all territories outside Sweden. As a result, three of the series' regulars, Margot Trooger (Ms. Prysselius), Hans Clarin (Thunder-Karlsson), and Paul Esser (Bloom), were on loan from Germany. In the original Swedish version, the three German actors were dubbed over by Gun Arvidsson, Gösta Prüzelius, and Hans Lindgren, respectively.
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The theme song "Här kommer Pippi Långstrump" ("Here Comes Pippi Longstocking") was rearranged by Konrad Elfers in the German-dubbed version of the series (where the song is called "Hej, Pippi Langstrumpf!"/"Hey, Pippi Longstocking!") to have a more traditional European folk flavor (as opposed to the samba style in the original Swedish version). The difference in tune was the addition of a new verse in the middle of the song. The German arrangement of the theme would be used for all translated versions of the series outside Sweden.
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The policemen Kling and Klang were originally intended to be played by Swedish comedy duo Hans Alfredson and Tage Danielsson (known collectively as "Hasseåtage"). The two had previously played criminals in another Lindgren/Hellbom movie: Skrållan, Ruskprick och Knorrhane (1967). But for some reason, probably scheduling conflicts, they were unable to do it. Hans has later said that "if we'd had the possibility to portray [Kling and Klang] we probably would have". However, Hans would later have another shot at a role in the Pippi series; he played Konrad the Peddler in the film Pippi on the Run (1970).
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Inger Nilsson was selected out of 8,000 actresses auditioning for the role. Director Olle Hellbom had realized he found his Pippi once he saw Inger skipping through the door at the beginning of the final B&W screen test. He said of Inger, "All the others had only dressed up as Pippi, but this Inger had that extra something. She had Pippi on the inside."
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In the book, Pippi's dress was blue, but for this series, it was changed to a light green (sometimes mixed with pink), because many FX scenes were done against a blue screen, and Pippi's dress would've been completely obliterated in the process, had it been blue.
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The entire 13-episode run of this TV series is based upon the first two Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren; "Pippi Longstocking" and "Pippi Goes on Board." However, at least one chapter ("Pippi Finds a Spunk") of the third and final Pippi book, "Pippi in the South Seas," is adapted in this series, and the conclusion of the final episode is based on that book's final chapter ("Pippi Longstocking Doesn't Want to Grow Up").
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The two police officers Kling (Ulf G. Johnsson) and Klang (Göthe Grefbo) were never named in the original books (wherein they were simply generic yet competent policemen). It was with this series that they were named and given more comical personalities.
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The spots on Lilla Gubben (Pippi's horse) were not real; they were painted on. The spots were meant to emulate Pippi's freckles, as in the book.
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Often regarded by many as the first adaptation, this was actually the third adaptation of Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking books. The first was the 1949 B&W Swedish film Pippi Långstrump (1949), and the second was the 1961 episode of the American children's story anthology series Shirley Temple's Storybook: Pippi Longstocking (1961).
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As this Swedish TV series was a West German co-production, Iduna Film and Beta Film (the German co-producers of the series) made two theatrical compilation films of this series for release in West Germany (while the series itself was still in post-production): Pippi Longstocking (1969), which premiered on May 9 of 1969 (nearly a week after the TV series finished its original run in Sweden), and Pippi Goes on Board (1969), which premiered on Halloween later that same year. The TV series itself finally made its German premiere (with an additional 8 episodes, as noted in another trivia item here) on October of 1971.
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The monkey playing Mr. Nilsson is a squirrel monkey (species name: saimiri sciureus).
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