By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Belgian production house Studio 100 are certainly busy bees these days. Not only have they licensed Maya the Bee Movie to Shout! Factory to fly into North America next year, but also they have the simply titled Heidi getting ready to bring her charm to the world in an all new animated television program that will be aimed for young girls when the series finally launches in 2015. Products from toy manufacturer Famosa will also be made available in most European markets.
The novels Heidi’s Years of Learning and Travel and Heidi Makes Use of What She has Learned are amongst the best known works of Swiss literature written by novelist Johanna Spyri. Over 50 million books were sold and translated into other languages. These stories have been adapted into other forms of media over the years and this CGI update will only further interest. Hopefully Shout! Factory and Studio 100 will continue their relationship and work together to bring this title to North America.
Amongst anime fans, she is known as the Girl of the Alps, Heidi (アルプスの少女ハイジ), which saw release back in 1974. This series is notable because of the work put into it by many notable anime pioneers, including Studio Ghibli founders Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki. The updated version by Studio 100 pays homage to this fond favourite and it really shows in the trailer. The series has not started broadcasting yet, but it will most likely see release in Europe first, premiering on Austrian public broadcasting channel ORF, before showing up on other speciality channels.