19 November 2005 | Chip_douglas
With great power comes great arrogance
This is the timeless (well almost) television series based on Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Långstrump books that is still seen all of the world today. Pippi lives on her own, has super-strength (and later on develops some more mutant abilities) and is prone to mood swings. Oh yes, she also lies all the time. Naturaly she befriends a brother and sister who are the exact opposite of her, Tommy & Annika: two squeaky clean blond haired model children who never did or said anything wrong their entire lives (till they met Pippi). Pippi gets around spending ducats left by her seafaring father, who used to be a pirate, but has recently become 'negro-king' on an unknown island (not very PC, but it's the late sixties). She also takes her monkey and horse almost everywhere.
All the best bits of this series were edited into a movie of the same name, in which Pippi's rascally nature was somewhat lessened by leaving out some of her nastier pranks while leaving in all the scenes where she prays to her departed mother. 1970 saw the production of another two movies: "Pippi Långstrump på de sju haven" and "På rymmen med Pippi Långstrump". The stories became even more far fetched and the three leads had obviously suffered from a growth spurt (Pippi's braids could not stick up straight anymore). These adventures were added to the TV series on each subsequent showing, bringing the total episode count up to 21. Last, and definitely least, some greedy producers took the material from the original series that had not been used in the first feature and crudely edited it together into a fourth film, "Här kommer Pippi Långstrump" (1973). The result was a bit of a mess, beginning with the final scenes from the first movie and then jumping back to stuff from the first episode.
There were no more new episodes produced after 1970 because the children were getting too old (and the stories too far fetched). But thanks to reruns and the series being dubbed into a thousand languages, Pippi is still very popular today, with both the series and the films receiving regular airplay (and available to buy). Although there have been other versions of the story before and after, most people will agree Inger Nilsson is the definitive Långstrump, and despite being a terrible role model, we can't help but love her. Children should learn the benefits of confidence and arrogance as soon as possible anyway.
8 out of 10