After charming her reclusive grandfather and falling in love with the beautiful mountain he calls home, Heidi is uprooted and sent to Frankfurt where she befriends Klara, a young girl confined to a wheelchair.
The opening credit roll was animated by Hayao Miyazaki, except for two scenes by experienced animator Yasuji Mori. Assigned to animate a ring dance of Heidi and Peter, Mori wanted to analyze a movement of two real people, so Miyazaki and animation director Yôichi Kotabe did a ring dance in a parking lot next to their studio, and Mori shot them with an 8mm camera for reference. See more »
Pure Japanese storytelling of a pure European story
It's funny to see that Heidi, coming from the now very praised genius of Ghibli (Isao Takahata and, everyone guesses, some touches of Miyazaki) was so extremely successful in Europe and it is relatively unknown to American audiences, the ones most fascinated with Miyazaki. The story of an orphan girl who must live with her grandfather in the mountains, and how she is able to make a new life with a nearly unbeatable optimism, is told by Takahata in a style that could be Ozu on drawings. The same kind of character observation, the same kind of very long pauses between facts, and something that really surprises me, a very observatory storytelling, something that is very rare in animated series. It's extremely emotional too, but not being excessively emphatic on that. It's just an admirable animated series, very unique, and very classic, something that amazes me that had such success in Spain, Italy and Germany.
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