Photos - Heidi, Girl of the Alps
I haven't written anything about Heidi in a while, so here are a few screenshots from the fantastic series. Whenever I'm asked to consider Isao Takahata's or Hayao Miyazaki's greatest work, I very quickly respond with three names - "Heidi Marco Anne." The three World Masterpiece Theater television dramas remain their masterworks, their great novel epics. This takes nothing away from the brilliance of the Studio Ghibli films; these series are just that much better.
It continues to puzzle me as to why Heidi was never broadcast in the United States. When I was in Bogota in March, anime series were on the tv stations all the time. A generation of kids all around the world grew up on Heidi Marco Anne. And yet, for some unknown reason, those of us in the States completely missed out.
I remain hopeful that something could happen on the Blu-Ray format. Heidi sports some wonderful scenery and color which is watered down on the DVD release. Animation suffers greatly from the compression to digital, as you can see from these photos. There's that speckled pattern on every surface, and it's always been a nuisance for me. Blu-Ray offers such a dramatic improvement in picture quality that it always leaves me astounded. One of the retailers at the Mall of America once played a clip from Mamoru Oshii's Innocence, and it was astonishing.
So somebody, somewhere, needs to get on the ball and bring Heidi Marco Anne to the hi-def format. No doubt the Japanese will get there first, but subtitles are almost never included. Which means waiting X number of years for computers to introduce Blu-Ray burners, and then the fansub community would get to work. How long would that take? Nobody knows.