Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Astrid Lindgren, the author of the Pippi books, pictured with Inger Nilsson as Pilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraim's Daughter Longstocking
In search of a Halloween costume this year, I came up with an excellent idea and rediscovered my love for a favorite character from childhood. I have not read the books (yet), but I was mad about Pippi Longstocking in the 1969 Swedish TV series that got edited into four films and dubbed into English. Inger Nilsson plays the indomitable Pippi as authentically quirky, independent and good natured. She was spot-on perfect. (The fact that Columbia Pictures put out "The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking" in 1988 is, in my opinion, a tragedy best ignored.) The 1969 version was created under the watchful eye of creator Astrid Lindgren, and she wrote the original scripts for the show herself.
Pippi was my childhood hero. Living on her own (as her seafaring father allowed her to), rich as a king (paying for everything with gold doubloons), strong enough to lift a horse and always getting wrapped up in new adventures. Pippi was tougher than any of the boys (or pirates) she encountered. She was also uniformly unimpressed with anyone who underestimated her or tried to limit her because she was a child or because she was a girl. Brilliant. I remember that when I was young I imagined (rather self-importantly) that Pippi and I had a great deal in common.
So I am going to be Pippi this year, making good use of my red hair. I have no idea why it never occurred to me before. I've got to run out and find copies of the series to rent. As I understand, it was re-released in 2002 with better dubbing... although I suspect I will prefer the original version and its choppy mealy-mouthed dubbing.
Now to convince The Guy that he would make an excellent Mr. Nilsson.
Pippi hits the candy shop
Pippi defending the weak and generally harassing the neighborhood bullies
Interesting bit o' trivia - The character is SO loved that she has inspired a Japanese Musical, which I think is a hoot.