Heidi (2005) starring Emma Bolger, Max von Sydow, Geraldine Chaplin, Diana Rigg, Pauline McLynn, Sam Friend, Jessica Claridge, Del Synnott directed by Paul Marcus Movie Review

Heidi (2005)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Emma Bolger in Heidi (2005)

Heidi Von Sydow the Mountain

As a child of the 70s and 80s I have many memories of the programs shown on TV specifically for children during the summer holidays and after school one of which was the 1978 series "Heidi". Now a lot has happened since I watched Katia Polletin as Heidi and had forgotten a lot of the story but within minutes of watching this 2005 version with Emma Bolger as Heidi it came flooding back. And whilst I am a lot older than I was the first time I was charmed by the story of "Heidi" I still found myself charmed once again thanks to Johanna Spyri's novel.

Now I'm not going to go in to much detail over what actually happens because firstly "Heidi" is a well known story and secondly for those who don't know the story part of the movie's charm is in the discovery. But this 2005 version of "Heidi" retells the story of young Heidi (Emma Bolger - In America) being sent to live with her grumpy grandfather (Max von Sydow - Minority Report) in the mountains where she meets Goat Peter (Sam Friend) before then having bonded with her grandfather being sent to a home in Frankfurt run by Frau Rottenmeier (Geraldine Chaplin - A Christmas Carol: The Musical) where she is to be a friend to Clara (Jessica Claridge) who is stuck in a wheelchair. And as this story plays out it covers all those moments from Heidi meeting Goat Peter when she knocks on his door to ask for a glass of water to her grandfather making her a stool. It is down to the strength of Spyri's novel that whilst time had faded my memory of "Heidi" within minutes of this one starting it all came flooding back.

What surprised me is that whilst this version of "Heidi" felt a little clunky, chopped down to fit in to a reasonable running time it still had the same emotion and beauty. Watching how Heidi's grandfather changes after she is forced upon him is touching and the friendship with Goat Peter is still sweet. It means that whilst after watching this I still prefer the 1978 version from my childhood I am sure that for a new audience this one would work with solid acting from all those involved especially Max Von Sydow and Geraldine Chaplin.

What this all boils down to is that this 2005 version of "Heidi" was surprisingly enjoyable although part of me feels that is because it made me remember my childhood and watching the 1978 TV version. Despite that I am sure this newer version will work for a young audience as that 1978 version did for me.