The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (anime)

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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
Genre Fantasy
Anime television series
Directed by Hisayuki Toriumi
Studio Studio Pierrot
Original network NHK
Original run January 8, 1980 March 17, 1981
Episodes 52
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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 Studio 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.

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, 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 fellowman. 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 fellowman 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.
  • Gusta - A warm-hearted, if not very bright female goose of the flock.
  • Ingrid - She was the beautiful elegant female geese, who first got captured by Smirre 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 -
  • Smirre - 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)-


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


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]