6.4/10
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8 user 5 critic

Heidi's Song (1982)

Orphan Heidi lives with her grandpa in Swiss Alps. She brings joy to all there. However, her aunt takes her to the city to live as a servant girl to a cold rich strict family and their nice but sad handicapped daughter.

Director:

Robert Taylor
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Cast

Credited cast:
Lorne Greene ... Grandfather (voice)
Sammy Davis Jr. ... Head Ratte (voice)
Margery Gray Margery Gray ... Heidi (voice)
Michael Bell ... Willie (voice)
Peter Cullen ... Gruffle (voice)
Roger DeWitt Roger DeWitt ... Peter (voice)
Richard Erdman ... Herr Sessman (voice)
Fritz Feld ... Sebastian (voice)
Pamelyn Ferdin ... Klara (voice)
Joan Gerber Joan Gerber ... Fraulein Rottenmeier (voice)
Virginia Gregg ... Aunt Dete (voice)
Janet Waldo ... Tinette (voice)
Frank Welker ... Schnoodle / Hootie (voice)
Michael Winslow ... Mountain (voice) (as Mike Winslow)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sue Allen Sue Allen ... Chorus (voice)
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Storyline

Orphaned Heidi is sent by her strict aunt to live with her reclusive grandfather in the Swiss Alps countryside. She likes it there and soon brings joy to her grandpa as well as everyone else there, including the animals. She also meets a nice sheepherder boy and befriends him. However, her aunt returns and takes her to the city to live as a servant girl to a cold rich strict family and their nice but sad handicapped daughter Klara. Heidi befriends Klara and finds fun ways to help her feel better, but Klara's strict parents punish Heidi for her actions which they see as childish and irresponsible. She is locked in a basement, where an evil rat lives. At that point, her friends from the countryside, as well as Klara, decide to rescue Heidi and help her go back to her grandpa.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Canção de Heidi See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,416,713, 21 November 1982

Gross USA:

$5,124,391

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,124,391
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, Heidi was to be voiced by a young child, which eventually became an impossible search. The producers talked to 150 actresses for the role, culminating in veteran stage actress Margery Gray voicing the character instead. See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits begin with landscapes from the film as backdrops, and then for the last half, footage from the song "That's What Friends Are For" plays along with a reprise of the song itself, finally fading to last credit screen with a picture of Heidi and her grandfather in the corner. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Valley Girl (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Ode to a Rat
Music by Burton Lane
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by Sammy Davis Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The most underrated Heidi adaptation and a surprisingly good one
30 March 2014 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Not the most faithful version of the classic book, that would be the Emma Bolger one or the best one, again between the Emma Bolger and Shirley Temple versions(the Jetlag animation is a high point in their output also). Heidi's Song is not to be dismissed though because in so many ways it is very memorable and is the most underrated version. I've seen six, all have shortcomings but none of them are bad, and that is true of Heidi's Song(and no bias is intended despite it being a childhood favourite). Heidi could have been more fluidly drawn in places and moments once Heidi escapes Frankfurt are on the rushed side, but when it comes to shortcomings that's pretty much it from me. The animation is atmospheric and lush, the backgrounds are smooth and the colours rich rather than flat, while the imaginative animation for the Nightmare and Ode to a Rat sequences are unforgettable. Very distinctive Hanna-Barbera. The soundtrack is a very large part of Heidi's Song's appeal, Ode to a Rat is the catchiest number though Clara's song is a melancholic beauty and She's a Nothing has some really clever lyrics. A Christmas-sy Day really advances the story and tells the story through the song, and while most of the others don't quite achieve that neither of them really distract from the story or feel out of place(yes even Ode to a Rat). The orchestrations are beautifully done and very cleverly scored. The Nightmare Sequence is musically very creepy that compliments the somewhat trippy visuals very well and the brass orchestration in Ode to a Rat is a standout too.

The script didn't seem that sugary and has its fair share of funny and touching moments. Depending on tastes, some may find some parts scary and the slapsticky additional animals might not work for some too. It was never a problem for me, the humour/slapstick was funny and didn't come across as misplaced and the Nightmare sequence was a sequence that always was transfixing and it is still memorable now. The story doesn't follow the book closely details wise but the emotional heart and heart-warming spirit is more than evident. If there were any over-sentimental or sickly sweet parts that I've seen Heidi's Song being criticised for that never was the case with me. The characters are very well-balanced, the grandfather's change of heart is believable and doesn't reveal itself too early and and Fraulein Rottenmeier is appropriately despicable. Heidi's Song doesn't make its characters too sympathetic like the 1968 version with Jean Simmons did, neither does it make them too hostile like Noley Thornton's. The animals are very cute and don't detract from the story at all. The voice work is terrific from all, Marjery Gray is instantly appealing and spirited as Heidi, Joan Gerber is sinister and amusing without resorting to pantomime and Clara and Peter are believably voiced too. But there were two standouts. One was Lorne Greene, who whether speaking or singing brings a booming yet emotional quality to the grandfather that makes you warm to him quickly despite his initial reclusive nature. And the other was Sammy Davis Jnr, he doesn't come until late into the film but is very witty and shows some wonderful vocals that you'd recognise with no problem. To conclude, a childhood favourite that holds up, not a first choice out of all the numerous versions of the story but has enough to make it not one to forget. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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