If Ingmar Bergman had ever directed a children's show, this would have been it
Like almost all things Astrid Lindgren, "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" (AKA "The Brothers Lionheart) has also spread south of Scandinavia, becoming staple television to German kids, clued to the screen during the 1980's. However, unlike "Lonneberg Michel", "Karlson from the Rooftop" and, of course, "Pippi Longstocking", "Bröderna Lejonhjärta" had a darker pitch, dealing with issues such as death, loss and sacrifice, making it one of the most unusual children's shows of it's time.
I'm not sure I can promise you a film with a happy ending.
In later years I would learn that the movie caused quiet uproar among parents at least: too dark for kids, too serious; the tone being altogether too morbid, even brutal. Well, I disagreed. Sure, there really is no happy ending and it certainly didn't make me giggle or sing some happy sing-along. Rather, it made me think about what one would later call the "realities of life" and I can honestly say that I'm grateful to Astrid Lindgren.
Perhaps this film teaches children I know, it did teach me about more serious aspects of life, probably more than letting them watch Tele-Tubbies, purple dinosaurs or merry ponies (which pretty much teaches contemporary youth one thing: "hey, you're imbeciles, just wait until you've grown up, then you'll notice").
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