DVD Review “Heidi’s Song”

Directed by: Robert Taylor
Starring: Lorne Greene, Margery Gray, Sammy Davis, Jr.
Distributed by: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 93 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

When it comes to classic Hanna-Barbera animated films, I immediately become interested.  “Heidi’s Song” has never been released to DVD in the past, so thanks to Warner Archive for finally releasing this film.  Released originally back in 1982, this is time perfectly for the 30th Anniversary of this film. It is based on Johanna Spyri’s children’s classic, “Heidi” and has been translated into a full-length animated musical motion picture. It includes sixteen original songs written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Burton Lane. The songs are fun but very 80’s.

This DVD released features the film newly remastered.  Though as much as I say that it looks good, the film really shows its age.  The film is very colorful but some of the shades come off still as a bit dull and faded.  But since this is the first time it has ever hit DVD, it is better than nothing and obviously VHS quality as well.  The audio includes a great stereo track, which works with the film’s songs.  There are no special features either like most releases from Warner Archive.  This title might not be the most popular but if you are a fan of retro Hanna-Barbera, it will be cool just to see this film getting a little love and restored on DVD.

Synopsis: Johanna Spyri’s best-loved children’s classic, Heidi, is affectionately retold in this colorful, full-length animated musical motion picture. The famed story has been supplemented with three new, unforgettable sequences: a musical review, The Nightmare Ballet, in which Heidi meets the mountain creatures of the Wunderhorn; a dream fantasy in which Clara, Heidi’s wheelchair confined friend, meets her Prince Charming at a fantastic ball; and Ode to a Rat, in which a band of evil but clownish rats, led by King Rat, are roused into attacking Heidi in a dark cellar. Voices are provided by Lorne Greene as Grandfather, Margery Gray as Heidi and Sammy Davis, Jr. as King Rat. Sixteen original songs were written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Burton Lane. Heidi’s Song has all the elements to make a thoroughly enjoyable film that children will cherish a lifetime.