The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking

Movie review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking Movie Poster Image
Pippi's spirit shines through in OK '80s version.
  • G
  • 1988
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Story is based on the popular classic by Astrid Lindgren. Also, Pippi tells many tall tales of far-off places in this movie. Kids can make note of the places she mentions and look them up.

Positive Messages

Hammered home a few times is the idea that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. Also, that you should be yourself and explore the world creatively; there's always a more interesting way to do something like clean the house or dry your clothes. On the minus side, kids cheerfully run away from home, and bad manners are laughed at much more than frowned upon.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Pippi lives without parents and doesn't see the need for adult supervision, table manners, or an education. She's also very imaginative, a good friend, a great story-teller, brave in the face of danger, and wants to ensure that everyone has fun, especially those less fortunate.

Violence & Scariness

A huge storm tosses Pippi and her father from their ship and separates them. An orphanage fire forces Pippi to save some children and her monkey. Villains trying to take Pippi's house are coaxed onto the roof and one is thrown into a tree. Pippi talks to her deceased mother, eyes raised to the heavens, and fears that her father is dead and not just shipwrecked. Kids almost go down a waterfall in a barrel and are saved. The orphanage mentions using physical punishment more than once, smacks Pippi's hand with a ruler, and threatens her with time in the "sweat box." Pippi pretends to shoot a gun into the woods and talks of cannibals and their cookbooks.

Sexy Stuff

Lots of name-calling like "idiots," "wretch," "brat," "silly stupid girl," "bimbo," and "dummies," plus "bugger off," "good God," and "my God."


Mentions or shots of Coke, O'Henry Bars, and Nestle.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man puffs on a cigarette, then drops it on the ground starting a fire.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that just like the classic book Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, 11-year-old Pippi lives without parents: her mother is dead (Pippi talks to her in the clouds a couple times), and her father is lost at sea after they're separated in a storm at the beginning of the movie. Adventure -- and danger -- seem to follow Pippi, who rescues kids and her pet monkey trapped in a burning building and convinces two kids to run away from home, and nearly gets them sent over a waterfall in barrels. Pippi is an endearing character because of her free spiritedness and creative approach to life, but her disregard for manners and the authority of adults may also grate on parents.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysusanc4 May 31, 2015

Parents will be bored

The 7-year-old enjoyed it, but it's tedious for parents. Bad acting, bad writing. The script deviates significantly from the book, and the worst deviation... Continue reading
Parent of an infant and 1-year-old Written byMommaOfTwoo November 21, 2012


Nothing spectacular, but children will enjoy Pippi's spunk.
Kid, 9 years old October 7, 2017


i watched this and liked it

What's the story?

Eleven-year-old Pippi (Tami Erin) is happily singing with her captain dad on his ship when a nasty storm kicks up and both are sent adrift in different directions. Dad tells her to go to the house Villa Ville Kula and wait for him, and she does with her monkey Mr. Nilsson and spotted horse Alfonso. Living alone in small town still provides lots of diversions for Pippi, who befriends the neighbor kids and teaches them wacky games and buys ice cream for all the orphans with her plethora of gold. But not everyone is keen on her carefree lifestyle. Three villains want to take over her house and steal her gold and the local orphanage tries to force her to go to this odd place called "school."

Is it any good?

Sometimes it's hard to weigh production values against what kids will find enjoyable and parents may find nostalgic. On the production side, the acting is not so hot, the music is atrocious (the jaunty Casio keyboard reprise of "Running Away" being a real low point), and some of the magical moments (Pippi's random ability to jump high, spin, or do flips) and characters (Home Alone-style villains and Dick Van Patten as a glue man) are just plain odd.

But there's a reason generations have loved Pippi and it's here. She tells outrageous tall tales, she's very inventive, she goes against all authority in a creative way, and tosses ice cream to a crowd. She's someone who's always making her own fun, her wheels always turning -- a great take-away for kids of all ages. Just be careful not to get those songs stuck in your head.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Pippi. Why do you think she's such an enduring character? What does Pippi miss out on by living her lifestyle? What does she gain? What lessons can kids and parents take from Pippi's attitude?

  • What other spunky girl characters can you think of? How is Pippi different from Annie?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cool girls

Themes & Topics

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