• Culture and Entertainment

    Inklings July: Heidi 1993

    Heidi at Along the Brandywine created a monthly link-up for movie and book prompts called the Inklings, the July prompt was a cliff scene, and the first one I thought of was the scene from the 1993 Heidi two part series. I adored this film/tv special, and watched it over and over and OVER (I was an obsessive child). This was such a HUGE part of my childhood, as big as Little House and American Girls, just less all encompassing because it was just this film, not the book, and there weren’t any official extras like all the bonnets, dolls, cookbooks, etc. that went with the others which are basically franchises.

    Because of copyright I’m just going to link to photos. Apparently this film wasn’t such a big deal because there aren’t many photos. I don’t really know how to find a photos of the particular scene I want. Maybe if I watch it, I can screenshot it.

    There are so many memories and associations I have with this film.

    • Switzerland has a special place in my heart in major part because of this story (and Treasures of the Snow, and learning my grandfather’s direct line and our closest tie to Europe is here, I should get a photo of one of the documents we have).
    • We have always called milkmaid braids, “Heidi braids” because that is how this version of Heidi wore her hair (I didn’t know the Shirley Temple version was probably more well-known and could barely even start to watch the sacrilegious version)
    • I had boots that I called by Klara boots. You can see them here, barely, doesn’t seem anything special, but I’ve always adore historical fashion, and I just loved those boots and the contrast with the white stockings of which I had a similar (to my mind) pair.
    • My first memories and knowledge (unknowing knowledge) of Latin came from this as I realized in my college Latin class.
    • I (of course) had a HUGE crush on Peter. A few years ago, I tried to track down the actor, but he’s disappeared off the face of the earth apparently.
    • I loved ever little detail about this, from certain food/milk scenes, from the kittens in the tower, from Fräulein Rottenmeier (Jane Seymour)’s particular way of reviving Klara from a faint (I feel like we may have reenacted that part).
    • My grandfather on my dad’s side always had white hair and a beard, also, I was rather afraid of him although it is unfair to characterize him as quite the crab as the man in the story.
    • I think Heidi herself looked like my best friend at the time or maybe it was her sister. I don’t remember wanting freckles myself, but somehow they seemed to be a big deal, I remember one of my sisters really wanted to be freckled (her best friend was the sister of mine, so that may have had something to do with, the things kids want sometimes).

    And of course, the falling of the (probably) ledge in the mountain meadows. Actually, I think Klara pushed Heidi or threw her kitten or something  (actually I think that was Treasures of the Snow or was it both? Need to rewatch both of these films), and to my child’s mind if seemed like a cliff, although it probably wasn’t that steep to an adult, enough to be really dangerous though to a child.

    Oh, the drama for a child. I remember Peter grabbing for Heidi’s hand, I remember him telling Klara to hold his legs, and she has to grab her legs in her hands in order to move near enough to him. It is hard for me to explain how much an impression this made on me. I haven’t watched it in over a decade (and it had been years before that to the previous watches) but I remember how important all this was, so many of the details of this scene.

    I know we reenacted this scene on our old school metal slide on the swing-set in the backyard, I’m almost certain it featured wearing my “Klara” books, possible also white stockings like hers as well.

  • Reading

    Childhood Fandoms Part 2


    The Boxcar  Children. Explained in a few words, how fun to live as they did and then be rescued+crush on Henry.

    The Little House series. I was a little pioneer girl. I have my bonnet yet made with the sewing book (not the same as the craft book; I want to find an old copy if I can) from our trusty and beloved old church library. Tied in with the pioneer theme was our Oregon Trail game. I do not think I ever made it to Oregon which could have been due in part to my steadfast refusal to hunt. I remember dressing up and playing pioneers, tramping around our yard.

    The American Girl series. I thought I was about 8, perhaps a bit younger, when my dad started reading the Kirsten books to me, but then I looked up the dates; I remember Josefina being new or fairly new (of course I also thought I remember Kirsten being new but she was one of the first . . . before I was born), so I must have been closer to 6 or 7. Surely it was 7. I got the Felicity, Kirsten, and Molly books for Christmas possibly that same year. I wonder if my parents got me those books to encourage me to read because I was apparently a late reader.

    The stories have sadly degenerated, starting, I think with Julie. A lot of the older dolls have been archived, and the newer ones are just less interesting and lasting, I think. They changed the original artwork in some of the original girls’ books. Ah, me.

    I went to an American girl dolls program at about age 7 or 8; the first activity was a mob cap. We also did a Samantha skit. I do not remember all the activities, but the last was a tea in a restaurant in an historical building, and we received a mini tea set (which I have yet; I was obsessed with those for years, but its seems you can hardly find them now).

    The next Christmas I received Samantha. I got quite a bit of her clothes and things . . . and then made one of my most regretted decisions. I gave. them. all. away. I wish Mom had not allowed it. I gave hundreds of dollars of things away, and NOT to someone in need, but because I was under the impression that that was what I had to do to get another doll, Felicity. I am so mad at myself.

    We also owned some of the cookbooks, theater sets, craft books, and Samantha’s sewing patterns, most of which we still have. My little sisters’ destroyed Felicity’s hair, but I still have her. One sister has her Addy doll. We took part in another program with crafts and activities via a Hallmark store and earned pins and a necklace. I know I gave my necklace away, and I think the pins also. What a careless child.

    When my dad made us throw away our barbies (I was 10, I think) at which we bawled our eyes out, my mom replaced them (we had like 15 or more of them) with the mini American girls dolls. Between us and my younger sisters, those poor things are frightening now, but I have a few of the little miniature books yet in good condition.

  • Reading

    The Secret Garden Review

    I was rather stunned (and somewhat incredulous) when I realized that the author of A Little Princess wrote The Secret Garden because of the disparity in quality. Granted, I did read the former a couple years ago, and maybe I did not appreciate the style, but even if the style is better than I think, I find it is hard to get over a Elsie-Dinsmore-esque-hammer-you-over-the-head-she-is-perfect type of character, and I do not think such a type is compatible with good writing. Anyway.

    I loved The Secret Garden. The style is charming and a touch mischievous—perfect for a book about children. I am not sure that meeting characters like Mary and Colin would be at all pleasant in real life, but the description and style made it delightful to read about them. I thought the other minor characters well-rounded and Dickon, a darling although perhaps the author mentioned his amiability and goodness a trifle too much.

  • Reading

    Peter Pan Review

    I remember that I watched Disney’s Peter Pan over a decade ago.

    I tried to read the book Peter Pan a couple of years ago but could not get into it.

    I read/skimmed some of Gail Carson Levine’s Tinkerbell fairy books and watched some of the Disney fairy movies (I have yet to see the one with the pirates in which Someone AMAZING voices Hook). I assume that the Disney fairies are based off her books, but I have yet to research the connection.

    Then I read Peter and the Starcatchers. I sped through the four in this series and then the book that is sort of a sequel to the series. AAHMAZING!

    Then we watched the adorable (although not squeaky clean) live action version with the adorable Peter and Lucius Malfoy’s Jason Isaac’s Hook.

    So, after I became quite a cheat and traitor on account of watching movies and reading spin-offs first, I finally read the original. The book didn’t seem quite as dry as I remembered, but it lacked some sparkle. But still, none of the aforementioned adaptations would exist without it. The original Peter is QUITE a bit more obnoxious than the other renditions of him, especially because he is SO forgetful. I don’t like that at all. And the original also plays up Peter’s desire to forever remain a child to the point of making the book a moral story which is a bit annoying. I at least appreciate the novel for the creativity it inspired.