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Classic Childhood Memories: Heidi, Girl of the Alps

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Today, the 20th of November, is Universal Children’s Day, an exceptional day that celebrates international togetherness and promotes awareness among children in order to improve the welfare of the younger generation worldwide. “Heidi” is a classic children’s fiction book published in 1881 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. She dedicated the book “for children and those who love children,” and the novel, as well as its main character, Heidi, became very popular. Between 1882 and 1959, there have been 13 English translations of the book and about 25 film or television productions based on the original story in various countries.

Today, we will introduce “Heidi,” a 1937 American musical drama film, and the latest Swiss film “Heidi” made in 2015. First up, we have the American black and white film, “Heidi. Heidi is an orphan who lost her parents when she was just a toddler. Aunt Dete takes Heidi to her paternal grandfather, who lives in the Swiss Alps. He lives alone in a small cabin halfway up the mountain. Adolph is not friendly to his granddaughter at first. Heidi’s innocence, kindness, and ability to always be cheerful has warmed grandpa’s heart, bringing a lot of joy into his life and the house. It was a huge success at the box office.

“A little girl…with a big heart…” “…in search of her true home.” Heidi is about eight years old when Aunt Dete suddenly comes to visit. Heidi is taken to the rich Sesemann family in Frankfurt to be the companion of a young girl Klara, who has been in a wheelchair for years. “I’m sure it’s very different where you come from.” “Klara is happier than ever.” Does Heidi return to the Alps? What happens to Klara?

Directed by Alain Gsponer, this fantastic film again brings so much joy to viewers, both children and adults. Ten-year-old Anuk Steffen was chosen from among 500 young actresses and gives a great performance as Heidi. Heidi’s kind and loving nature, as well as her carefree spirit, have attracted audiences for generations all over the world.

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