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Hen's Tooth Video presents
The Pippi Longstocking Collection (1969/1970)

"I don't think mother would approve of this."
- Annika (Maria Persson)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: November 30, 2005

Stars: Inger Nilsson, Par Sundberg, Maria Persson
Other Stars: Hans Clarin, Paul Esser, Göthe Grefbo, Ulf G. Johnsson, Fredrik Ohlsson, Margot Trooger, Öllegĺrd Wellton, Hans Lindgren, Beppe Wolgers, Siv Ericks, Martin Ljung, Jarl Borssén, Staffan Hallerstam, Tor Isedal, Hĺkan Serner, Alfred Schieske, Wolfgang Völz, Nikolaus Schilling, Hans Alfredson, Benno Sterzenbach, Walter Richter, Kurt Zips
Director: Olle Hellbom

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable - see review)
Run Time: 05h:54m:51s
Release Date: October 04, 2005
UPC: 759731409926
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+B+B+ C-

DVD Review

Pippi Långstrump, based on the novels of Astrid Lindgren, was originally aired in 1969/1970 as a Swedish television series, which lasted 13 episodes in total. A Swedish/German co-production, another eight episodes were derived for German television from the På rymmen med Pippi Långstrump (Pippi on the Run - 1970) and Pippi Långstrump på de sju haven (Pippi in the South Seas - 1970). From 1973 to 1977, the series was recut into four movies and dubbed into English for North America, becoming the children's classic many of us grew up watching on television. Who could forget Ingar Nilsson's "spunky" portrayal of the incredible red-headed young girl who moves into her pink, yellow and green house, Villa Villekulla, with her monkey, Mr. Nilsson, and a polkadot horse named Little Old Man, causing an uproar in town. She befriends her neighbors, Tommy (Pär Sundberg) and Annika (Maria Persson), bringing smiles and fun to the other children, while baffling the adults with her super human strength, and fierce independence. Hen's Tooth Video's Pippi Longstocking Collection compiles the four feature versions Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Goes On Board, Pippi in the South Seas and Pippi on the Run using their original English dubs. The DVDs are also available seperately.

With her super human strength, surrounded by animals, and free of parental supervision, Pippi embodies the ultimate in childhood fantasy in her behaviour and freedom, as she does all the things kids would get into serious trouble doing in reality. The cheeky, free spirited girl would be considered a hellion from a parental standpoint, and her antics certainly do not contribute to what adults would consider a good role model. Jumping on the furniture, playing with loaded guns and explosives, or riding the rapids in a barrel are all in a day's adventure for the freckle-faced girl.

Pippi Longstocking (Pippi Långstrump 1973 - 01h:29m:29s)

Monkey on her shoulder, and riding her polkadot horse, nine-year-old Pippi Longstocking arrives in town and takes up residence in the abandoned Villa Villekulla. With no visible means of support and no adult supervision, town busy-body, Fröken Prysselius (Margot Trooger) decides Pippi should be headed for the orphanage, not left to her own devices, but Pippi has other plans. Pippi can take care of herself, and the suitcase full of gold coins can provide everything she needs, while also supplying the local children with candy and toys. When a pair of crooks learn of Pippi's fortunes, they decide to liberate her gold, only to learn that grown men are no match for a determined redhead!

Pippi Goes On Board (Här kommer Pippi Långstrump 1973 - 01h:18m:11s)

Picking up right where Pippi Longstocking left off, Pippi decides to remain at Villa Villekulla, and her latest sachel of gold immediately attracts the attention of crooks Dunder-Karlsson (Hans Clarin) and Blom (Paul Esser), who once again escape from jail in the hopes of landing some loot. Pippi's first adventure is a birthday party, but things really get going when the carnival comes to town, and Pippi is there to wreak havoc as only she can. With Christmas coming, Pippi decides it's time to start going to school, but it's her teacher who learns a thing or two. Town constables Kling (Ulf G. Johnsson) and Klang (Göthe Grefbo) also prove no match for the girl in the mismatched stockings.

Pippi in the South Seas (1975 - 01h:35m:12s)

When she receives word that her father has been captured by pirates hoping to learn the whereabouts of his secret treasure, Pippi is off to the rescue, with Annika and Tommy (and Mr. Nilson) tagging along. Setting off in her bed balloon, the group run into all sorts of trouble, including becoming marooned on a desert island, stealing a ship, and fighting off a band of pirates. This installment is much more of an adventure, as Pippi and company outwit scores of pirates in their quest. There is also an attempt at making this into someewhat of a musical, with a few extended numbers, which would have been better if the dubbing actor could carry a tune. Pippi is as cocky as ever, brazenly taunting her adult adversaries.

Pippi on the Run (1977 - 01h:32m:01s)

The final installment in the set finds Annika and Tommy planning to run away to escape the constant scolding of their mother, who, realising the kids are serious, turns to Pippi to take care of them. Leaving Mr. Nilsson behind, the three venture off on Little Old Man, letting a coin toss decide their direction. Abandoned by their horse during a thunderstorm, the kids take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse, where they meet Konrad (Hans Alfredson), a travelling salesman selling a wonder glue. Soon they are riding the rails, sleeping in haylofts, As they journey on, low on food, clothing and a place to saty, Annika and Tommy begin to realise that home isn't so bad after all.

If released today, I could see these films being plastered with all kinds of warnings due to the number of unsafe and outright dangerous activities Pippi and her friends are depicted doing—don't try this at home kids! Safety concerns aside, Pippi Longstocking is a fun and fantastic set of stories, sure to engage youngsters and adults alike.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame1.55:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyesyes

Image Transfer Review: For the most part, the image quality is very good, with these transfers taken from the original negatives. Colors are bright and vibrant, contrast is good to very good depending on the scene, and detail level is high. Grain looks natural for the most part and the source is clean with only minor print damage, a hint of artificial processing and the occasional compression artifact in places. The first two films are presented in their 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the latter two at 1.55:1 nonanamorphic widescreen. I can't remember Pippi ever looking this good.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Unlike Hen's Tooth's television version which got newly recorded English tracks, these films use the original 1970s dubbing for the soundtrack. Mono audio is well presented, and while it shows some slight signs of age, there are no major defects. Dialogue is easy to discern, if a touch overly sibilant. There is a bit of hiss, and a couple of minor pops. Spanish tracks are provided for all four films.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 48 cues and remote access
Packaging: Thinpak
Picture Disc
4 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo galleries
  2. Pippi filmography
Extras Review: Not a lot in the way of extras, but each disc has a seven to ten image photo gallery from its respective film, and there is also a filmography covering the Pippi based films that have been released through the years.

Each film is contained on its own disc and keepcase, tucked inside a sturdy cardboard box.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

There is only one Pippi Longstocking in my book, and Hen's Tooth have done a nice job bringing these children's classics to DVD in this movie version collection.


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