Heidi Vhs CoverHeidi Vhs CoverHeidi Vhs Cover
Cover Title
Heidi
Year of Release
Cat # / Distributor
Format Details
Running Time
93 min (NTSC) (SP)
Original Title / Year
Arupusu No Shôjo Haiji (1974)
Submitted By
Videonut324 on 04/05/2014
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Heidi, Girl of the Alps (アルプスの少女ハイジ Arupusu no Shōjo Haiji?) is a 1974 anime series by Zuiyo Enterprises based on the Swiss novel Heidi's Years of Wandering and Learning by Johanna Spyri (1880). It was directed by Isao Takahata and features contributions by numerous other anime legends, including Yoichi Kotabe (character design, animation director), Toyoo Ashida (co-character design, animation director), Yoshiyuki Tomino (storyboard, screenplay), and Hayao Miyazaki (scene design, layout, screenplay).[1]

Heidi is one of several World Masterpiece Theater titles produced around the "classical children's literature period" (1974–1997), based on classic tales from the Western world. The animation studio responsible for Heidi, Zuiyo Enterprises, would split in 1975 into Nippon Animation Company, Ltd. (which employed the anime's production staff and continued with the World Masterpiece Theater franchise) and Zuiyo Company, Ltd., which retained the rights (and debt) to the Heidi TV series. The feature-length movie edit of the TV series, released in March of 1979, was engineered completely by Zuiyo, with no additional involvement from Nippon Animation, Takahata or Miyazaki.

Despite this series' international popularity, it is less well known in the English language. The entire series has been re-dubbed into English on two separate occasions — first in the late 1970s, when the series was shown in the Philippines, and again in 2001 for broadcast in India on Cartoon Network. Although this dub was done by the animation studio for airing in India, they never included the English audio on subsequent DVD releases. Interestingly, none of the DVD releases around the world have English subtitles on them either.

The only version of the Heidi anime to have been commercially released in the United States is the feature-length movie version of the TV series, released in Japanese theaters in 1979 and directly to home video in the U.S. sometime in the 1980s by Pacific Arts under the title The Story of Heidi. The American version was produced by Claudio Guzman and Charles Ver Halen and featured a voice cast including Randi Kiger as Heidi, Billy Whitaker as Peter, Michelle Laurita as Clara, Vic Perrin as Alm-Ohi, Alan Reed as Sebastian, and legendary voice talent Janet Waldo as Aunt Dete.[3] This dub also changes the name of the dog Josef to Bernard, ostensibly because he is a St. Bernard.

A feature length film was edited from the series in 1979 by Zuiyo (which by then was a separate entity from Nippon Animation, which employed many of the TV series' animation staff). All cast were replaced excluding Heidi and the grandfather. This movie is also the only incarnation of the Heidi anime to have been released commercially in the USA in English (on home video in the 1980s). Isao Takahata remarked "Neither Hayao Miyazaki nor I are completely related to any shortening version" on this work.