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HEIDI'S SONG

 Unrated   DVD

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Product Description

Johanna Spyri's best-loved children's classic Heidi is affectionately retold in this colorful full-length animated musical motion picture. The famed story has been supplemented with three new unforgettable sequences: a musical review The Nightmare Ballet in which Heidi meets the mountain creatures of the Wunderhorn; a dream fantasy in which Clara Heidi's wheelchair confined friend meets her Prince Charming at a fantastic ball; and Ode to a Rat in which a band of evil but clownish rats led by King Rat are roused into attacking Heidi in a dark cellar. Voices are provided by Lorne Greene as Grandfather Margery Gray as Heidi and Sammy Davis Jr. as King Rat. Sixteen original songs were written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Burton Lane. Heidi's Song has all the elements to make a thoroughly enjoyable film that children will cherish a lifetime.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make 'em like they used to. Feb. 1 2003
By Maizy Malone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
As with apparently every other reviewer here, this film made a huge impression on my childhood, and I lately found myself thinking about it and tracked it down. After watching it again I was not disillusioned one bit--it is a masterpiece of a children's movie like Disney managed two or three times long ago and nobody bothers to make anymore. When was the last time your daughter watched an animated tale with an actual overture? In constrast to the wannabe-pop thing the big corporations have been dealing lately, with their frantically quipping heroes and slapstick animal sidekicks, this movie gives leash to the kind of magic usually left to the Grimms. There is indeed an undiluted evil-stepmother type figure (who is laughed at in due time.) There is also a dream sequence in which Heidi is abducted (to her soon delight) by mythical spirits of the wind. The Swiss mountain "Wonderhorn" where Heidi lives with her Grandfather is carefully built up to an Eden-like magnificence that will heal everyone who crosses there. Interspersed are many moments of humor and spunk, including a charmingly wicked song and dance by rats. As a bottom line, it feels like a lovingly crafted production--even children know when they are watching fluff. Show it to them, and they will notice the difference.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning Nov. 15 2004
By Mara Jade - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
I saw Heidi's Song as a very small child, and it's had a place in my heart since then. First of all, Lorne Greene is the voice for Heidi's grandfather. His performance is beyond perfect. I absolutely love his singing voice, and I've always been touched by the emotion he puts out to bring grandfather to life.

All the music in this film is well crafted and fun to listen to, and the animation is gorgeous. You can't go wrong with this version of Heidi. It's an animated classic, and hopefully will be remembered for a long time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please don't hide from Hanna-Barbera's "Heidi's Song!" Oct. 16 2012
By Greg Ehrbar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Timing is everything, especially when a feature film is released. When Hanna-Barbera released "Heidi's Song" in 1982 through Paramount, family films had become more edgy and sophisticated, while this warmhearted musical was something that might have been more widely embraced in the mid-60s, when "The Sound of Music" was a Hollywood smash.

It's very possible that Hanna-Barbera had "Heidi's Song" in the production pipeline for many years, assigning artists to it between TV series projects. Apparently it was a difficult film for Hanna-Barbera to complete. I recall a 1982 cover story in Millimeter Magazine in which director Robert Taylor (DuckTales, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Men in Black: The Series) was attached to the film and some of it had to be redone.

Hanna and Barbera were clearly hoping for a Disney-type classic that would perhaps live on as an example of what they could do with the right amount of money and time. "Heidi's Song" really does show a lot more loving care -- and a much higher frame rate resulting in above-average animation fluidity by HB standards -- than most of their TV animation of the 70s and early 80s.

Story must have been a challenge, too, but William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, director Taylor and co-writer Jameson Brewer gave it their best shot. Like so many children's tales, Heidi may not have had enough plot to sustain an animated feature in the Disney tradition. So, like Disney, the filmmakers came up with many clever ways to keep things moving and add to the plot, including subplots with dogs and cats -- which are, of course, Hanna-Barbera specialties.

Among the film's biggest strengths is its score. Anyone who appreciates fine movie or show music will want to play this DVD on a stereo system to fully appreciate the scope of the music of Burton Lane (Finian's Rainbow) with lyrics by Sammy Cahn (Disney's Peter Pan, among many others). This is also the only major HB feature film arranged and conducted by house musical director Hoyt Curtin. It's a joy to hear what he could do with a gigantic orchestra and chorus (including Hollywood's best singers including Gene Merlino and BJ Baker).

There are so many songs, though, that some of them advance the plot ("A Christmas-sy Day," for example, covers the time in which Heidi adjusts to mountain life and bonds with her Grandfather), while others suspend the story. These are delightful, but not always crucial to the story. As Disneylike at "Heidi's Song" is, the film has roughly twice the amount of songs and musical set pieces than the average Disney fairy tale feature.

By the way, the box claims that there are 16 original songs and there are indeed 16 musical "segments," but some are reprises and instrumentals, as I have noted here:

Overture (Orchestra & Chorus)
Good at Making Friends
Heidi's Nightmare (Orchestra)
A Christmas-sy Day
Heidi
An Armful of Sunshine
Heidi (reprise)
Frankfurt (Orchestra)
She's a Nothing
An Armful of Sunshine (reprise)
Monkey Theme (Orchestra)
Imagine
An Unkind Word
That's What Friends Are For
Ode to a Rat
End Title, including "Wunderhorn" (Orchestra & Chorus)

The voice cast is not star studded, but rather filled with the superstars of Hanna-Barbera and cartoons in general -- like Janet Waldo, Michael Bell, Joan Gerber, Pamelyn Ferdin, Fritz Feld, Frank Welker and others. Stage star Margery Gray (the wife of Fliddler on the Roof lyricist Sheldon Harnick) voices Heidi.

On the celebrity side, Lorne Greene bellows nicely as Grandfather and Sammy Davis Jr. brings the film to an even higher level with the excellent "Ode to a Rat," a spectacular example of design, animation and especially the dazzling brass section so associated with Hanna-Barbera TV theme songs.

The rat sequence near the film's end, as well as the nightmare sequence near the beginning, could be scary for the very young children. Therein lies the dilemma with films like Heidi's Song, Annie and others with a primary appeal for girls but not for boys. Knowing this, HB's team added the darker moments as well as the dog, cat, and monkey mayhem. This only makes it harder to decide if Heidi's Song works for everyone.

It sure does for me, because I loved it when Hanna-Barbera reached higher than the usual level of TV animation. Personally, I think "Charlotte's Web" was their crowning achievement in theatrical films, but each one is a fascinating experience.

"Heidi's Song" makes a particularly great listening experience. The 1982 K-Tel soundtrack album, released on vinyl, was a story record that emphasized dialogue and edited the music. A full-fledged musical soundtrack album was not released.

Now that this DVD is available, it's like having a soundtrack album. Okay, the movie can be as sticky as microwaved Jujubees, but c'mon now, that "Wunderhorn" tune is pretty magnificent in full stereo! Maybe if this DVD-R does well enough, the picture can be fully restored for Blu-ray.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be on DVD! Jan. 29 2010
By Jamie Kasik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
I absolutely loved this film as a child and even had a cassette recording of the soundtrack. I would listen to the songs over and over and I really think this is a classic that should be preserved. I hope it eventually gets re-released onto DVD for those of us who remember it! I would love to share this film with my own children someday.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great video, except for some unecessary namecalling. Aug. 31 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
I was so happy to finally find and buy this movie on Amazon! I had a copy a long time ago, but it got lost. It brought back a lot of memories. It is a funny, lively, and musical movie that I have adored for years. I still love it as much as I used to, however, I noticed something I didn't notice when I was young. Fraulein Rottenmier really puts down Heidi A LOT in the movie and calls her things like "a nothing" and "a zero." She even sings a song about it. I find that very hurtful to watch sometimes. That is the only negative thing about this movie, the rest is really quite pleasant. I guess it is just a judgement call on whether young children should watch it unless they know enough not to call others those same names and be rude and hateful like Fraulein. Maybe since I didn't notice it that much, maybe other children may not either.

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