(Robert Bathurst, Emma Bolger, et al / DVD / NR / (2003) 2006 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Set in the Swiss Alps 100 years ago, Heidi is the story of a young orphan girl who is sent to stay with her grandfather in the High Alps. A tale of the indomitable spirit of children amid the hardships of an adult world, Heidi has been a favourite childhood fiction for generations around the world.
DVD Verdict: The beloved tale of Heidi, the Swiss miss whose indomitable spirit touches all those around her, despite having been dealt a harsh hand in life, gets a spunky boost in this 2005 film adaptation. A stellar cast includes Max von Sydow as Grandfather, a roiling-with-inner-rage Geraldine Chaplin as Rottenmeier, and a benevolent Diana Rigg as Grandmamma. At the center of their world - like it or not - is Heidi, played with irrepressible optimism by the adorable Emma Bolger. As the orphaned Heidi is flung from home to home, city to city, valley to mountain, by those who profess not to want her, she accepts her fate and still manages to cast sunshine on her bleak situation. This version features breathtaking scenery - Grandfather's mountain aerie looks more like a Canadian Rockies summer spread than a place of self-imposed solitary confinement. At times the pan-European cast gives the film a feel of being the United Nations on location; Chaplin and Rigg's upper-crust British accents clash with von Sydow's clipped Swedish delivery, and Bolger's accent adorably reflects her Dublin roots. (Only the goats truly look Swiss.) But the story of Heidi has a huge heart, and this film is family entertainment in the best sense of the word. This is a Full Screen presentation (1.78:1) and comes with the Special Features of Subtitles in both Spanish and French.