The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (TV series)

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The Wonderful Adventures of Nils
Nils no Fushigi na Tabi (DVD cover).jpg
DVD cover of Nils no Fushigi na Tabi, from Studio Pierrot
Anime television series
Directed byHisayuki Toriumi
Produced byGreg Bailey
Written byJ. Stewart Burns
Al Jean
Mike Reiss
Jeff Westbrook
Valentina Garza
Jon Vitti
Charles Shows
Original networkNHK
Original run 8 January 1980 17 March 1981
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils[1] (ニルスのふしぎな旅, Nirusu no Fushigi na Tabi) is an anime adaptation of the novel The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf.[2] The 52 episode series ran on the Japanese network NHK from January 1980 to March 1981.[1] The series was the very first production by Pierrot. The anime was mostly fairly true to the original, apart from the appearance of Nils' pet hamster, and the greater role allowed to the fox Smirre. The music was written by Czech composer Karel Svoboda while Yukihide Takekawa provided the soundtrack for its original Japanese broadcast and other countries.

The anime was also broadcast in Canada (in French), France, Germany, Sweden, Finland (as "Peukaloisen retket") - "Wren's wanderings", Iceland (as "Nilli Hólmgeirsson"), The Netherlands, Belgium, Greece (as "Το θαυμαστό ταξίδι του Νίλς Χόλγκερσον" - "The wondrous journey of Nils Holgersson"), Bulgaria (as "Чудното пътуване на Нилс Холгерсон с дивите гъски" ("The wondrous journey of Nils Holgersson with the Wild Geese")), Poland (as "Nils and the wild geese"), Portugal, Romania, in the Arab World (as "مغامرات نيلز" Nils' Adventures), Spain, Slovenia (as "Nils Holgerson" with one s), Slovakia (again as "Nils Holgerson" with one s), Hungary (as "Nils Holgersson csodálatos utazása a vadludakkal"), Israel (as "נילס הולגרסון" - "Nils Holgersson"), Turkey (as "Nils ve Uçan Kaz" ("Nils and the Flying Goose")), Italy, Hong Kong (dubbed into Cantonese), Mainland China, South Africa (translated to Afrikaans as "Die wonderlike avonture van Nils Holgerson"), and Albania (Aventurat e Nils Holgersonit), but in some countries it was cut to allow for commercials. In Germany, the animated series episodes were also combined into one full feature animated movie (~ 1h 22min in length) in 1981; the same release has also been dubbed and released in Estonia on DVD and VHS. In Germany, the anime was also adapted into a comic book series, with the drawings made by the Spanish Studio Interpubli, and the German Atelier Roche.


Nils Holgersson is a 14-year-old farm boy, the son of poor farmers. He is lazy and disrespectful to his fellow man. In his spare time he enjoys abusing the animals in his family farm. One day Nils captures a tomte in a net while his family is at church and have left him home to memorize chapters from the Bible. The tomte proposes to Nils that if Nils frees him, the tomte will give him a huge gold coin. Nils rejects the offer and the tomte turns Nils into a tomte, which leaves him shrunken and able to talk with animals, who are thrilled to see the boy reduced to their size and are angry and hungry for revenge. While this is happening, wild geese are flying over the farm on one of their migrations, and a white farm goose called Morten attempts to join the wild ones. Nils manages to flee on Morten's back together with his new hamster friend Carrot, and they join a flock of wild geese flying towards Lapland for summer.

The wild geese, who are not pleased at all to be joined by a boy and a domestic goose, eventually take him on an adventurous trip across all the historical provinces of Sweden. They encounter many adventures and characters like Smirre. His adventures, as well as the characters and situations Nils encounters, teach him to help other people and not be selfish. During the trip, Nils learns that if he proves he has changed for the better, the tomte might be disposed to change him back to his normal size.

Main characters[edit]

  • Nils - Nils is the main protagonist of the series. He lives with his family on a farm in southern Sweden. Nils is lazy and disrespectful to his fellow man and enjoys abusing animals in his spare time. After the farm's tomte magically shrinks Nils he becomes much smaller than all the animals and is capable of speaking and understanding animals language. Since all of the farm animals are out for revenge, Nils travels with a flock of wild geese which is flying to the north of Sweden for summer. Nils wishes to transform back to his original size.
  • Carrot - Nils' little hamster friend, which also joins him on the ride. Carrot's name may also appear as Crumb and was one of Nils' closests friends.
  • Morten - A goose which originally belongs to Nils' family. Nils originally flies away from his farm on Morton's back after the farm's animals are seeking to get their revenge on Nils. Nils and Morten had their differences, but at the end one can see how much they cared for each other.
  • Captain Akka (Akka of Kebnekaise) - The matriarch of the wild geese flock. She is strict but kind-hearted and cares a lot for Nils. Her friendship with Nils grows as the story progresses.
  • Gusta - A often-grumpy but strong goose and a friend of Lasse. However, when Lasse married his crush Suirii, Gusta starts to tease him. He is the only goose not married.
  • Ingrid - She was the beautiful elegant female geese, who first got captured by Lex the fox, but survived and partnered with Gunnar later on.
  • Gunnar - At the beginning of the journey, he is quite stern. Over time and after falling in love with Ingrid, he learns to loosen up, though.
  • Dunfuin - A warm-hearted, if not very bright female goose of the flock. She marries Morten, who is madly in love with her on first sight.
  • Lex - Primary antagonist and evil fox, who wants to eat the wild geese, but because of Nils it never happens. It follows wild geese to the Lapland.
  • Rosenbaum -
  • Ondori -
  • Gacho -
  • Gorgo - A large, black eagle, that was found in an empty nest by Akka, years ago. She raised him and taught him how to survive by eating fish, rather than preying on animals, such as geese. Nils saved Gorgo from a zoo. Nils, Carrot and Gorgo flew the last bit together to Lappland. Unfortunately, Gorgo had to stay in Lappland when the wild geese wanted to leave Lappland when winter came again.
  • Suirii - A female goose, who sings with a very high pitch voice and annoys everyone. She fell in love with Lasse (from the Afrikaans translation), while Gustav thought that she loved him.
  • Ten -
  • The Witch of Storm (Isatter Kajsa)- Encountered by Nils and the geese flock in episode 21, where she teaches Nils a lesson by creating extremely harsh weather. She later saved the sister and brother by freezing the river.


  1. Mischievous Nils - 8 January 1980
  2. Shrunken Nils - 15 January 1980
  3. Riding a goose - 22 January 1980
  4. SOS of the forest squirrels - 29 January 1980
  5. Morten's big pinch - 5 February 1980
  6. Bird strength contest - 12 February 1980
  7. Battle of the mice - 26 February 1980
  8. The crane's ball - 4 March 1980
  9. Hungry Nils - 11 March 1980
  10. Lex's evil scheme - 18 March 1980
  11. Walking lead statue - 25 March 1980
  12. Morten's first love - 1 April 1980
  13. Goats of Hell's valley - 8 April 1980
  14. Phantom town appearing on moonlit nights - 15 April 1980
  15. The greedy crow and the coin bowl - 22 April 1980
  16. Choose a crow boss - 29 April 1980
  17. Ransomed duck child - 6 May 1980
  18. The lake disappears - 27 May 1980
  19. Spoiled fawn - 3 June 1980
  20. Snake's revenge - 10 June 1980
  21. A testy witch's prank - 17 June 1980
  22. Bear twins who prowl the forest - 24 June 1980
  23. Flood of swan lake - 1 July 1980
  24. Operation 'To hell with Lex the guard-dog' - 8 July 1980
  25. Rescue party from the sky - 15 July 1980
  26. One stormy day - 22 July 1980
  27. The story until now / Morten's engagement - 5 August 1980
  28. Nils singing on a streetcorner - 19 August 1980
  29. Arrested eagle - 26 August 1980
  30. The taste of freshly baked bread - 9 September 1980
  31. Monster of the forest - 16 September 1980
  32. Look out, Nils: A mountain fire - 30 September 1980
  33. Patrol of five - 7 October 1980
  34. Battle of the spirits of sun and ice - 14 October 1980
  35. Goose guard child looking for his father - 21 October 1980
  36. Bird love - 4 November 1980
  37. Morten the rookie papa - 11 November 1980
  38. Lapland, land where the sun never sets - 25 November 1980
  39. Don't follow me, Golgo - 2 December 1980
  40. Wolf attack - 9 December 1980
  41. Lake fire festival - 16 December 1980
  42. Big man who built a forest - 23 December 1980
  43. Nils's lullabye - 13 January 1981
  44. Bataki shut in - 20 January 1981
  45. Haunted house on a full moon - 27 January 1981
  46. Sea shining silver - 3 February 1981
  47. Main event of the village festival - 10 February 1981
  48. Lex's new journey - 17 February 1981
  49. Nils discovers a secret - 24 February 1981
  50. Wild goose's present - 3 March 1981
  51. To my old home - 10 March 1981
  52. Goodbye, Akka - 17 March 1981


Regional releases[edit]

A Japanese DVD Region 2 box set of the series was produced in 2002, and a French DVD box set in 2005. The TV movie was released in Bulgaria by A-design. An English DVD release was never made. An Afrikaans DVD box set of the series was also produced.


  1. ^ a b "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils." Studio Pierrot. Retrieved on February 10, 2009.
  2. ^ Jonathan Clements, Helen McCarthy. The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917. Revised and Expanded Edition. — Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2006. — P. 450. — ISBN 978-1-933330-10-5

External links[edit]