Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
It's bad. Very bad.
on 10 December 2013
I've loved the story of Heidi for most of my 40 years and have watched and enjoyed all the adaptations available. This one I watched and vomited up my own soul. It's truly awful. What really stuck for me was Klara and her father, who are incredibly selfish here. Rather than realising Heidi's unhappy and letting her return home, they simply send the sick, pining child home for a short visit until she's well enough to return to Frankfurt and Rottenmeier's sadism, so that Klara can still have her own way. The Sesemann's were good people in the story, horrified by the realisation of Heidi's unhappiness, but here they treat her as a possession, a plaything. Worse still, when it becomes clear during her visit home that she's happy there and doesn't want to go back, it's actually given to Klara to decide whether to release Heidi and let her remain, like she's giving up her favourite possession rather than putting her friend first. What makes Heidi's story so lovely is the true goodness in the people around her, which to some extent is drawn out or amplified by the sweet, honest nature of the girl herself. That just isn't here in this film and it feels cold. The characterisation is very one dimensional and even the presence of some very good actors can't elevate this out of the woodpile. There are several excellent adaptations of Heidi, but this isn't one of them.
Some reviewers have mentioned scenes which may be unsuitable for children, but haven't stated which scenes or why. There is one scene at the beginning depicting the accident which kills Heidi's parents, we see them trying to huddle for safety in a storm in the forest, then we see a falling tree, and then we see her parent's lifeless limbs protruding from under the tree. We don't see blood, or the faces of the dead people. There are also a couple of scenes where Klara has an asthma attack, or some similar difficulty breathing, though she quickly recovers. These are the only scenes I can imagine being even slightly disturbing to a small child, I wouldn't think either were too scary for a child in my care but judge for yourself whether it's suitable for your child.