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Approved for All Ages


Heidi is the story of an orphaned Swiss girl who is brought to live with her angry Grandfather high up on an Alpine mountain. Heidi’s innocent charms and love transform all who know her. But when Heidi is taken from her precious mountain home to live in the city, she must learn to trust God’s plan, and to never give up hope that He will make all things right in the end. Award-winning Director Lynn Moody is joined by a talented cast in creating a breathtaking film that will warm the heart. Those who’ve not read the original novel won’t know what a cherished Christian classic Heidi is until they see this faithful adaptation of Johanna Spyri’s beloved story.

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Dove Review

Based on the story by Johanna Spyri, this film, directed by Lynn Moody, is intimately directed, with several close-ups, contrasting with the beautiful scenes of mountains and fields. Heidi is an inspired film, featuring excellent performances by the entire cast, including that of Emily Dunphey as Heidi, and Tim Kaiser as her Grandfather. Lindsay Hayes compliments Heidi as her wheelchair-bound friend, Clara.

Heidi is taken to her grandfather to care for her by Dete’, who comes across as an unkind woman who just wants to place Heidi in a home and to be finished with the task. Grandfather has been known to be reserved and living within himself. “Cantankerous” is a descriptive word for him. When Heidi asks him where she should sleep, he gruffly says, “Wherever you like.” However, it is no time at all and Heidi’s kindness and concern for him wins him over. He no longer simply sits outside, smoking his pipe, but she involves him in conversation. Heidi chooses the loft to sleep in, as she enjoys sleeping on the hay and her view allows her to see outside.

Heidi does desire a bed sheet, and says, “You can’t have a bed without a sheet.” Her other description of “bed sheet” is “cover lid.” Unlike Dete’, who called her a “thoughtless child,” Grandpa likes her. Grandpa likes her singing as she sings a nice song, with “La la la la la la la” as the lyrics.

Heidi wants to visit her grandmother below the mountains. Grandpa, concerned for her, tells her the snow is too deep. But, not wanting to disappoint her, he takes her down the mountainside in a sleigh. Grandma’s shutter rattles near the window, and Grandpa promises they will find a way to repair it.

Later, the local minister visits Grandpa, encouraging him to place Heidi in school. Grandpa believes the local people hate him and he has no interest in sending Heidi to school. The pastor asks that Grandpa be reconciled to God and to attend church, but he states he has no intention of living near the people. He is angry and bitter. However, the story will not end here.

Heidi stays for a time with a rich man’s daughter named Clara, who is wheelchair-bound. Clara needs a companion. Although Heidi and Clara hit it off, Clara’s governess, Fraulein Rottenmeir, is impatient and constantly calling her names such as “Barbarian.” Clara’s mother has died, leaving her father a widower.

The local doctor realizes after a time that Heidi desperately misses her grandfather, with whom she has forged a bond. He suggests to Clara’s father that she be allowed to return to him. She returns home with the doctor driving the carriage and she and Grandpa have a nice reunion scene.

Content Analysis: This is a wholesome movie, with just a bit of name calling by the governess. Heidi shares the story of the prodigal son with her grandfather, who repents and calls on God, just as the prodigal did his father. There is talk of praying and there is a Christian worldview featured in the movie. And not only is Heidi awoken by Grandpa who takes her to church, but another miracle is going to happen.

Think About It: There are wonderful discussion points in the movie, about forgiveness, treating others with kindness (unlike Fraulein Rottenmeir), and caring for others as Heidi does for her grandfather and grandmother. Reconciliation is also a theme as the pastor and Grandpa make peace.

The Dove Take: This is a wonderful family-friendly film, with fitting music, excellent acting and characters, and the faith-based theme of Christian kindness and forgiveness. It has earned our Dove seal for All Ages.

Dove Rating Details


Encouragement to seek the Lord in prayer; Heidi believes the Lord will provide for her grandparents and herself; the local pastor encourages church attendance and fellowship.


A servant named Sebastian and Heidi’s friend Clara do their best to make sure she is treated fairly and taken care of; the grandfather knows he must forgive for his own good and to be a good example.




A governess speaks unkindly in a few instances, saying things like, “You little heathen!” and “You dirty little rascal” and “Barbarian”; another woman says, “You wretched, thoughtless child.”


A boy shoves a girl’s wheelchair down a hill until it crashes and breaks.


A toast with some wine; wine given to servants; pipe smoking.




Tension between a few characters: a governess is mean; a bitter man repents and changes.

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