Heidi (1993)

Movie review by Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
Heidi (1993) Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 6+

Family entertainment at its best, expect emotional moments.

G 1993 165 minutes

Parents say

age 9+

Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

not rated for age

Based on 1 review

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Now you’ve seen the film, read the book

I have loved this book from a child, and also it’s sequel as she grows up. Loved the story, although not as correct as the book. The night sequences are part of the story. However disappointed in the “action of Klara” to stop falling off the cliff. In actual fact Klara spends time with Heidi and Grandfather and Peter get frustrated with her. it’s during this time that he throws the chair down the mountain. It’s only when Klara’s father comes to see her after some time, see how she has blossomed and she walks to him from a seat outside the hut. So yes do read the book. Performances of all the actors are really good. Putting in a quick statement of I’ll bring you back some white rolls before the end of part one, explains what will happen, when in reality she doesn’t discover soft rolls until she has been there. So lesson over. Really, really enjoyed it. Got it saved on recorder, so will watch again. Loved Patricia Neal acting as Grandmother, but I imagined her to have rotten teeth or none at all which was why she couldn’t eat hard black bread. Johanna Spyri you have given a lot of people some great imagination in your books, and so has Disney for making me cry.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 9+

A Beautiful Adaptation With a Few Minor Issues

Heidi is an eight-year-old orphan growing up in early 1900s Switzerland. Her Aunt Dete sees her as an inconvenience and always has. Despite this, Heidi has grown up to be a bright, compassionate, optimistic little girl with a lot of spunk. So when she's sent to live in an isolated mountain cabin with a grandfather the townspeople fear, she doesn't quake much. Instead, she endeavors to build a relationship with Grandfather and teach him to be a more open and compassionate person. In many ways, she succeeds, which gives way to an example of the good relationships that can grow between senior citizens and children. Heidi is actually a positive influence on all around her. Midway through the film, Dete reappears, taking her to Frankfurt. There, Heidi is expected to befriend a sheltered girl named Klara who uses a wheelchair because of a childhood brain fever. Klara is spoiled and coddled, and she sometimes uses her disability to her advantage. Yet Heidi sees the good in her and encourages her to be strong and try new things. Families can talk about the dynamics of this friendship and how kids can be good friends to Klaras they may know. There are some minor caveats. As noted, Klara can be manipulative, and the adults in her life allow it even at Heidi's expense. Grandfather is unnecessarily stern at times, and he can be rude and gruff with people who try to help him. One such disagreement resulted in the violent death of Heidi's parents (via a storm, not actual bloodshed). Some unsettling scenes involve Heidi becoming so homesick that it translates into physical illness and sleepwalking. Governess Fraulein Rottenmier is unsympathetic and snobbish. Finally, Klara's disability is resolved because she miraculously learns to walk again. While this is an expected ending for the time period, it does paint Klara as a one-dimensional and somewhat pathetic disabled character. This warrants discussion. Otherwise, this film is truly a classic good for movie nights.

This title has:

Great role models

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • Courage Mountain Poster Image

    Courage Mountain

    A ridiculous retelling of the Heidi story.

    age 10+
  • The Secret Garden Poster Image

    The Secret Garden

    '90s adaptation of classic book has some heavy themes.

    age 8+
  • Pollyanna Poster Image


    Wonderful family film with excellent messages.

    age 6+

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon picture of a book
    Book Characters
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate