This version was a Swedish-German-Canadian co-production made by Canadian animation company Nelvana. Nelvana emerged in the 1970s with various tv specials, most notably The Devil and Daniel Mouse (1978) and the animated Boba Fett segment of The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) and then went onto animated tv series such as George Lucass Star Wars spinoffs Droids (1985-6) and Ewoks (1985-7), Beetlejuice (1989), Clone High (2002-3) and the excellent The Adventures of Tintin (1991-2). They also released several films, including an unsuccessful venture into adult fantasy with Rock and Rule (1983), three Care Bears movies and Babar: The Movie (1989).
With The Adventures of Tintin, Nelvana did a superb job of taking Hergés much loved comic-strip stories and faithfully rendering them on screen, sometimes even down to replicating the same strip panels. Nelvana lavish the same modest and unassuming effort on Astrid Lindgrens tales here. The animation is plain, nicely rounded and extremely colourful. Animation is, one suspects, the best place for Lindgrens absurdist tales and of all the adaptations this film is the most faithful to the spirit of the Pippi Longstocking stories. That said, given the possibilities that animation offers, the film is surprisingly light when it comes to fantastique content which amounts to little more than Pippi demonstrating super-strength. The latter half of the film disappointingly turns into a good deal of slapstick tomfoolery involving cops and villains running around a circus and the countryside, where the film almost seems to be trying to become an animated version of Home Alone (1990).
Throughout Pippi is seen as a force of anarchy she is called Miss Mayhem at one point. (Indeed, when the original books came out in the 1940s, they caused a storm of controversy in Sweden, with Lindgren accused of undermining authority and promoting anarchy, and in France were even printed censored of such elements). Pippi Longstocking is a character who exists in a perpetual state of childhood playfulness and chaos where nonsense makes sense watering flowers in the rain, unable to see the point in going to school. She is constantly offering offbeat little questionings of the status quo It costs money to look? she says of a circus, I go around looking all day who knows how much money I have stared up already? Up against this she is a constant thorn in the side of adults who take themselves too seriously or are greedy.
This film was followed by an animated tv series Pippi Longstocking (1998) from Nelvana, which lasted for twenty-four episodes, and a Swedish-made animated sequel Pippis Adventures in the South Seas (1999).
Film online in several parts beginning here:-