Pippi Longstocking (1997 film)

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Pippi Longstocking
Movie poster pippi.jpg
Video release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Screenplay by Catharina Stackelberg
Based on Pippi Longstocking
by Astrid Lindgren
Music by
Edited by Noda Tsarmados
Distributed by Legacy Releasing (theatrical)
Warner Home Video (VHS and DVD only)
Release date
  • 22 August 1997 (1997-08-22) (US)
  • 3 October 1997 (1997-10-03) (Sweden)
  • 22 January 1998 (1998-01-22) (Germany)
Running time
78 minutes[1]
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • Canada
Language English
  • 80 million kr[2]
  • ($11.5 million)
Box office $505,335[3]

Pippi Longstocking is a 1997 animated musical comedy-adventure film co-directed by Michael Schaack and Clive A. Smith and written by Catharina Stackelberg, based on the eponymous children's books by Astrid Lindgren. The film features the voices of Melissa Altro, Catherine O'Hara, Gordon Pinsent, Dave Thomas, Wayne Robson, and Carole Pope.

The film, an international co-production between companies from Sweden, Germany, and Canada, was distributed theatrically by Legacy Releasing, and on VHS and DVD by Warner Home Video, and was served as a pilot of a spin-off television series on HBO in addition to another animated film, Pippi Longstocking's Adventures on the South Seas.

Pippi Longstocking is Nelvana's first feature film since Babar: The Movie.


The film begins with Pippi sailing around the world with her father, Captain Efraim Longstocking, her pet horse, Horse, her pet monkey, Mr. Nilsson, and various members of the ship's crew. One night during a hurricane, the captain is washed over board into the sea. As he drifts off, he calls to Pippi that he will "meet her in Villa Villekulla". To that effect, Pippi and her pet animals make their way home, Villa Villekulla, to await his return. Not long after arriving, she makes friends with the two children across the street — Tommy and Annika, who are captivated by her free spirit and fun-loving attitude. They soon convince her to go to school (for the first time in her life) where she gets into trouble, despite winning the hearts of her classmates.

Pippi also soon attracts the attention of a local social worker, Mrs. Prysselius, who conspires to put her into foster care. When Mrs. Prysselius goes to speak with the local law enforcement of the need for the girl to be placed in a home for orphans, she lets certain details (her lack of adult supervision, living alone, having a large supply of gold coins kept out in the open, and most of all, leaving her door unlocked) be revealed to a pair of thieves already in jail. The thieves, Bloom and Thunder-Karlsson, decide to rob Pippi themselves once they break out of jail.

Pippi and her friends take part in many adventures and close-calls, winning over almost everyone, with the exception of Mrs. Prysselius and Tommy and Annika's parents. Just when Mrs. Prysselius has had enough, got into a breakdown and is about to drag Pippi straight to the children's home herself, Pippi's father returns to take her back to their life on the sea. However, Pippi decides that she can't leave her new friends and decides to stay in Villa Villekulla.


Musical numbers[edit]

  1. "There's Magic Everywhere" - Pippi
  2. "Hey-Ho, I'm Pippi" - Pippi
  3. "Recipe for Life" - Pippi, Tommy, and Annika
  4. "A Bowler and a New Gold Tooth" - Bloom and Thunder-Karlsson
  5. "Pluttifikation" - Teacher, Pippi, and Students
  6. "There's Magic Everywhere" (Reprise) - Pippi


Box office[edit]

Pippi Longstocking opened theatrically in the United States on 22 August 1997 in 73 venues. In its opening weekend, the film earned $62,196, ranking number 23 in the box office.[4] The film closed on 30 October 1997, having grossed $505,335.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 43% rating based on 7 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10.[5] Lawrence Van Gelder of The New York Times gave the film a mixed review, stating "As Goldilocks might say, when it comes to uncomplicated children's entertainment, this Pippi Longstocking is not too big, not too small, but just right."[6]


External links[edit]