Astrid Lindgren takes her beloved children’s novel and helps bring the character to life in this fun family film re-edited from the 1969 series.
Pippi Longstocking is a young girl who lives by herself in a small village called the Ville-Villekula while her father is at sea as a top sailor. She becomes friends with her neighbors Tommy and Annika Settergren and this trio of friends enjoy living the carefree life. However, upon learning that she lives alone, Ms. Prysselius is convinced that Pippi must stay at the children’s home, much to the chagrin of Pippi, Annika, and Tommy.
When even two bumbling police officers attempt to get Pippi, they fail. Things soon get crazy when two criminals break out of prison, hoping to find a treasure within the Ville-Villekula. However, Pippi not only has the smarts, but is quite strong due to her upbringing. While Pippi eventually does get the respect of the local townsfolk and children, what will happen when Pippi’s father returns to sea with the intention of bringing her back to sea with him?
In 1945, the world was introduced to Pippi Longstocking, a famous children’s character created by the late Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. After a 1949 film was released, Lindgren took it upon herself to write the script for a 1969 series that would star 10-year old Inger Nilsson as the titular Pippi. This film is a recut of some episodes from that series and it meshes quite well for its time.
Nilsson is fun to watch as Pippi, a carefree girl who lives with a horse and a monkey in a big house in a Swedish village. Her smile along will make you get the giggles, in particular a scene where two bumbling cops try to grab Pippi from the rooftop of her house. While the English dubbing today will yell “atrocity”, it perfectly okay for its time and it is fun to watch, especially when it comes to her friendship with Tommy and Annika, played respectively by Par Sundberg and Maria Persson.
German actress Margot Trooger plays Ms. Prysselius, a caretaker who at first is convinced Pippi needs to be with other kids at a home until she finds respect for her. In a fun scene, both of them along with Tommy and Annika are eating a soup that has a special ingredient that you will never expect to be in a soup. In other words, don’t try it at home…at all. The movie is just a fun trip and adventure through the eyes of a carefree little girl and while the ending may bring some tension, it does end on a very happy note.
A lot of the stuff seen in the film would be used in the 1988 adaptation The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking.
Pippi Lockstocking is a fun family film that has some great antics from Inger Nilsson in the titular role as we are enthralled in her fun adventures.
WFG RATING: B+
A Beta Film/KB Nord Art/Svenks AB/Sveriges Radio production. Director: Olle Hellbom. Producer: Olle Nordemar. Writer: Astrid Lindgren, based on her original characters and books. Cinematography: Kalle Bergholm. Editing: Jan Persson and Jutta Schweden.
Cast: Inger Nilsson, Par Sundberg, Maria Persson, Margot Trooger, Beppe Wolgers, Hans Clarin, Paul Esser, Fredrike Ohlsson, Meta Velander, Siv Ericks, Ulf G. Johnsson, Göthe Grefbo.