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Pippi Longstocking (Swedish: Pippi Långstrump) is a fictional character who originally appeared in a series of children's books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The character has since adapted into several movies and television series. Pippi means "quirky" in old Swedish slang. She was named by Lindgren's daughter Karin, who was nine years old at the time. She had asked for a story from her mother one day when she was home sick from school.
Pippi is an unusual and spirited nine-year-old girl. She has superhuman strength, and is easily able to lift her horse with one hand. She often mocks and tricks adults she encounters; she usually reserves her worst behaviour for the most condescending adults. Pippi only really gets angry when someone treats her horse badly. Like Peter Pan, Pippi does not want to grow up. She is the daughter of a pirate captain and has adventurous tales to tell. She has four best friends: her horse, a monkey, and the neighbour's children Tommy and Annika.
The first three Pippi Longstocking books were published by Rabén and Sjögren from 1945 to 1948. Another series of six books were published between 1969 and 1975. Two final stories were printed in 1979 and 2000. The books have been translated into 64 languages.
There are three full-length Pippi Longstocking books:
- Pippi on the Run (1971)
- Pippi's After Christmas Party (1950)
- Pippi Longstocking in the Park (2001)
There are many picture books and short books based on parts of chapters from the original three, including:
- Pippi Goes to School (1999)
- Pippi Goes to the Circus (1999)
- Pippi's Extraordinarily Ordinary Day (1999)
The first movie about Pippi Longstocking was filmed in 1949. The movie was based on three of the books, but several storylines were changed and characters were removed and added. Pippi's character was played by Viveca Serlachius. It was directed by Per Gunvall and released on October 20, 1950.
An American movie version from Columbia Pictures was released in 1988. It was called The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, although it actually just retold the original story. The movie was directed by British director Ken Annakin. It starring Tami Erin as Pippi with Eileen Brennan, Dennis Dugan, John Schuck and Dick Van Patten in supporting roles.
Shirley Temple's Storybook episode
In 1961, the NBC children's television series Shirley Temple's Storybook showed an episode about Pippi Longstocking. It was the 15th episode in the show's 2nd season. The 60-minute episode first aired on 8 January 1961. The episode is historically important. It was the first time a child played Pippi in a television or movie adaptation, the first American television or movie adaptation of the book, and the first television or movie adaptation of the book in color.
The episode stars (among others) child actor Gina Gillespie as Pippi Longstocking, Renie Riano as schoolteacher Miss Lindquist, and Tor Johnson as circus strongman Mighty Adolf. Pippi defeats bullies and burglars, and out-performs a circus strongman. The episode has been released to DVD.
1969 television series
A Swedish television series, Pippi Longstocking, was created in 1968. The stories were based on the books. The first episode was broadcast on Sveriges Radio TV in February 1969. It was a co-production between Sweden and West Germany. Several German actors had roles in the series. Inger Nilsson played Pippi.
Astrid Lindgren had been unhappy with the 1949 adaptation. She wrote the script herself for this version. The series was directed by Olle Hellbom who also directed several other Astrid Lindgren adaptations. This version is the most well-known version in Sweden and other European countries.
Soviet television movie
A television movie version, Peppi Dlinnyychulok, was released in 1982 by Mosfilm. It was produced by Margaret Mikalan, and starred Mikhail Boyarsky, Lev Durov and Tatiana Vasilieva. Pippi was played by Svetlana Stupak, and her singing voice was provided by Svetlana Stepchenko.
ABC Weekend Special television special
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- "Astrid (Ericsson) Lindgren." Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, 2nd ed., 8 vols. Gale Group, 2002. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008.
- "Pippi Longstocking". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0699612/.
- "Peppi Dlinnyychulok". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0263853/.
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- Hoffeld, Laura (1977). "Pippi Longstocking: The Comedy of the Natural Girl". The Lion and the Unicorn 1 (1): 47–53.
- Holmlund, Christine Anne (2003). "Pippi and Her Pals". Cinema Journal 42 (2): 3–24.
- Lundqvist, Ulla (1989). "The Child of the Century". The Lion and the Unicorn 13 (2): 97–102.
- Metcalf, Eva-Maria (1990). "Tall Tale and Spectacle in Pippi Longstocking". Children's Literature Association Quarterly 15 (3): 130–135.