The Hills had her Heart
When Heidi (Noley Thornton) was left at her grandfather's (Jason Robards) he wasn't overly happy but slowly Heidi's spirit wears off on him and soon he loves having his granddaughter living with him whilst she enjoys spending time up in the mountains be it with Peter (Ben Brazier) the goat boy or his grandmother (Patricia Neal). But just as everything seems right Heidi is forced to move to the city where her cousin has arranged for her to become a companion to the sickly Klara (Lexi Randall) who is supervised by Fräulein Rottenmeier (Jane Seymour) as her father travels a lot for business. Whilst Heidi longs to return to the mountains she soon ends up becoming best friends with Klara and loved by many of the adults who work in the home.
I have mentioned before in another review of a version of "Heidi" that when I was a child I watched the 1978 series which was adapted from Johanna Spyri's much loved story. And to be honest when I came across this 1993 TV mini-series I wasn't expecting it to change my mind when it comes to the version I love the most. But it did and by the time I'd spent a full evening watching this 1993 version of "Heidi" I felt the innocence of my childhood return thanks to the beauty of Spyri's story.
Now I will admit that when this version of "Heidi" started I had some mixed feelings as whilst there was Jason Robards as grandfather this had that European feel which at times made it feel slightly off, be it the camera work or the voices not seeming quite right. But then the storyline really kicks in as Heidi wins over grandfather, becomes close to Peter's blind grandmother who struggles with crusty bread and so on right through to the events when having gone to the city to live but returned to the hills the jealousy of Peter causes problems when Kara visits. Quite simply the team behind this version took the story which I was familiar with from the 1978 version and recreated it and did a very good job of doing so with the storyline being the real star of this mini-series.
But then there is the acting and there are some famous names in the cast of "Heidi" such as Jason Robards, Jane Seymour, Patricia Neal, and Siân Phillips all of whom do a nice job with their parts with Robards in particular bringing the gruffness of Grandfather to life but with the warmth to make him such a great character. But it is Noley Thornton as Heidi who makes this movie as she is cute, but she also makes Heidi this giving spirit who embraces everything with a fun attitude and as such makes the aspect of Heidi touching people's lives come to life.
What this all boils down to is that whilst I wasn't expecting it to this 1993 version of "Heidi" truly captivated me thanks to it simply bringing the storyline to life. Whilst I still have fond memories for the 1978 series I grew up watching this version has now become my favourite.