Pippi On The Run

Pippi On The Run by Astrid Lindgren.  Photographs by Bo-Erik Gyberg.  Viking Press, 1971.
"A picture book featuring Inger Nilsson, Maria Persson, and Per Sundberg as Pippi, Annika, and Tommy."

If you're a regular reader of my little blog, you know my daughters and I love the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren. We have finished the four original novels and the Christmas picture book.  We have not, however, watched many of the film and TV adaptations.  When I was checking out the remaining Pippi books from the library, I came across this.  Pippi On the Run was published in 1971, featuring photographs from the 1970 feature film of the same name.

The late-1960s/early-1970s Swedish television series is still the preferred Pippi adaptation in Sweden and most of Europe.  It was re-dubbed into two English-language feature films, with two more spin-off films to follow.  This is the last of the feature films.

If you look this book up on Goodreads, you will see that many readers find this book lacking.  It isn't as well-written as the previous Pippi books.  Those reviewers are probably reviewing the later edition of the book, published with traditional illustrations in the form of a short novel.  If we had read this edition, we would have found it very disappointing.  In its original format, you can see clearly that the book is a movie tie-in, there to showcase the photographs from the film.

I want a house that looks just like Villa Villekulla.  You can tour the original house used in the TV series/movies.  Maybe someday we will visit Sweden.  We can visit this house, as well as Astrid Lindgren's World.

Anyway, the plot of this book is pretty simple to describe.  First, we meet Pippi and her neighbor friends, Tommy and Annika.  We see them clowning around Villa Villekulla, such as in this shot of Pippi pretending her spaghetti is a beard.

So Tommy and Annika get mad at their mother and decide to run away.  Their mother is concerned enough about them to ask Pippi to run away with them.  She trusts Pippi to protect them.  True, the series is not exactly realistic to begin with, what with Pippi's super-human strength and pirate king father and all, but somehow, this is the most jarring plot device of all for me.

They take Pippi's horse, but he runs away for home during a storm.  They find an abandoned house in which to spend the night.  It is also a stopping place for a kind peddler. He sells Conrad's Gripping Glue, and he gives some to Pippi, which comes in handy later.

We see scenes of the children cooking fish they catch.  Pippi even eats the bones!  Pippi goes over the river in a barrel, and floats far away from her friends.  They spend a day lost, looking for one another, before finding each other on a village street.  There, Pippi teaches them to dance in the street for money.

Pippi also teaches them how to jump from a bridge to the top of a moving train.  {Note from my freight conductor husband:  NEVER DO THAT, KIDS!!!}  From there, they jump into the back of a haywagon. They convince the farmer to let them sleep in the barn.  The farmer's boys are fascinated by the children, especially the baby.

Pippi, Tommy, and Annika are rather taken with the farm animals.  Note Lindgren's description of the baby chicks:  "There were baby chicks, too, small and soft and yellow and ugly."  I never thought of a cute little baby chick as ugly!  This sentence made us giggle.

Pippi saves the baby from a charging bull.  In return, the grateful farmer lets her have his rusty old car, saying she'll have to come visit if she wants to see it, as it won't start.  Two hours later, with a little help from Conrad's Gripping Glue, she has it going.  They say goodbye to the kids, and Pippi drives off with Tommy and Annika.  The farmer freaks out about a little girl driving, but you know, it's Pippi!

The brakes are out.  The kids have a dangerous joyride in the car before it becomes airborne, landing in a lake.  The children take advantage of the water to have a swim and in Annika's case, a bath.  (Annika is very, very concerned with cleanliness.)  Pippi insists on wearing her clothes, so they can be washed, too, but Tommy and Annika undress.  Once ashore, they find their clothes have been completely consumed by some cows in the field.  They make gunnysack clothes, and off they go to beg again in another village.

It's Market Day at the village, and no one is in the mood to give money to sad little beggar children.  So Pippi decides to be a tightrope walker instead.  The children earn a lot more money this way!

The children are taken in by a kind police officer who, nevertheless, locks them in the jail for the night.  He plans to call their parents the next morning.  Of course, this is Pippi we're talking about.  All she has to do is bend the bars and the children are free.  Pippi informs her friends that once she is home, she will send some gold pieces to the police officer to make amends for the mess she made of the jail.  Once she is home. Tommy and Annika decide they miss their home after all, and the three set off once more.

Pippi's horse meets them on their way, and the three children return home.  Pippi declines Tommy and Annika's mother's invitation to dinner.  At the end of the book, Tommy and Annika watch Pippi through their windows.  They call to her, but she doesn't hear them.  It's all right, though.  In the morning, they will race over to see Pippi again.

Here is the original trailer for the movie Pippi on the Run.  

And I did find the full movie dubbed in English on Dailymotion, if you care to watch.  

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  1. Must read this! Must see this! I've never seen the swedish version. This looks amazingly fun!

    1. Looks great, right? I need to watch these movies, too. I know my teacher showed us a Pippi movie after reading the first book to the class in grade school, but I don't know which version. I can't even remember which teacher read it! :)

  2. Ah such memories! Thanks for showing all these pictures! I sure remember the good old 70s movies and I didn't know they were made into books! Your summary made me laugh at all the silliness I enjoyed watching back then. I so dreamed of living at Villa Villekulla! Well, maybe just for one night because I was more like Annika and I was very concerned with how messy the place was Hahaha (already had OCD back then). My love for Sweden started with Pippi's movies and I remember having the biggest crush on Tommy (who turned out really cute later btw per youtube interviews)!

    1. Oh, cool! I haven't seen them yet, but I plan to. The girl who played Pippi looks absolutely perfect. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post. :)


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