Pippi Longstocking is a world-famous character brought to life by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The unruly, fun, and unorthodox nine-year-old redhead with stick-straight pigtails has become a household name for many, due to her quirky antics and adventures.
What child wouldn’t want to be Pippi? She is the strongest girl in the world and lives by herself in a colorful cottage in the forest. Oh, and she has a pet monkey and horse to keep her company! Here are some fun facts about the free spirit known as the one and only Ms. Pippi Longstocking.
Astrid Lindgren’s Daughter Came Up With The Name Pippi
Astrid Lindgren, the author of Pippi Longstocking, made up the character as a way to entertain her sick daughter, Karin. She was very ill with pneumonia and was completely bedridden during her first year of school. It was actually Karin who came up with the name Pippi.
Karin says, “One evening, my mother said, exhausted: “But what more can I tell you?” An answer came bursting forth, in an attempt to keep her by me: “Tell me about Pippi Longstocking” It was a name out of the blue, only a child’s play on words. But it did the trick. She started to tell me a completely new story.”
Pippi’s Full Name Is Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking
If you think Pippi’s full name sounds more like a Harry Potter incantation for a polyjuice potion, you’re not alone. Then again, maybe it’s just the “Windowshade Mackrelmint” part of the name. Regardless, Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim’s Daughter Longstocking is what Pippi claims to be her full name.
It’s never mentioned why she believes this to be her full name, but we can guess that it has something to do with the fiery redhead’s personality. Lindgren wrote the character of Pippi as being fiercely independent and unconventional. We’re not sure what’s more unconventional than that long name! Somehow, it works for Ms. Longstocking, though.
It took Astrid Lindgren Falling On Ice To Start Recording Pippi
Astrid Lindgren started telling her daughter the story of Pippi in 1941 but it wasn’t until years later that she began to record the bedtime stories on paper. She began writing the tales down after falling on some ice. The accident left her with a hurt ankle, making her relatively immobile.
During that time, she decided to jot down the stories she was telling Karin in order to entertain herself. And it was also in an attempt to see if the stories would go anywhere. Obviously, the tale of Pippi went to many different places!
Lindgren Sent In The Story To A Few Writing Competitions
After becoming bedridden after her fall on the ice, Lindgren compiled all of the stories she had been telling her daughter and jotted them down on paper. Later that year, in 1944, she submitted the story to a writing contest, getting second place. Not too bad for a bedtime story!
But Lindgren wasn’t stopping there. A year later, she sent the story to another contest. Pippi Longstocking came in first place and won the prize of a publishing contract. Lindgren’s story has been in print ever since, being translated into 70 languages!
Pippi And Astrid Share Similar Qualities
Pippi’s antics often reflect those of her author, Astrid Lindgren. As a young woman growing up on a farm, Astrid had big visions for her life and little hesitation to pursue her dreams. Are we the only ones that think that sounds a bit like a certain feisty redhead with pigtails?
Astrid was a young woman with quite the attitude and a strong sense of self-worth. It’s no wonder she gave her main character some personality traits that would reflect her own. She made Pippi unconventional, rebellious, assertive, and, most importantly, mentally and physically strong.
Lindgren Wrote The First Drafts Of Pippi In Stenographer’s Shorthand
Lindgren’s thoughts must have been going faster than her fingers could type if she wrote the first few drafts of Pippi’s story in stenographer shorthand! If you’re not familiar, a stenotype machine is a specialized keyboard that is typically seen used by typists in courtrooms. You know, those insane people who have to be able to write 180, 200, and 225 words per minute with a very high accuracy rate.
This type of keyboard has significantly fewer keys than a normal alphanumeric keyboard. All the user has to do is press down on multiple keys at the same time to spell out whole syllables, words, and phrases.
Pippi’s House Is On The Market!
The house that was used in the 1987 classic movie, The New Adventure of Pippi Longstocking, has recently been put on the market! Villa Villekulla, as Pippi called it, is a 131-year-old Captain’s House in the Old Town section of Fernandina Beach, Florida.
The house is 2,200 square feet, two-stories tall, and overlooks the Amelia River. Although it could use some upgrades, the house has an abundance of quirky charms. We mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a real-life gingerbread house? The best part is that the house is listed for only $750,000.
Pippi Longstocking Has been Translated Into 70 Languages
Since Lindgren signed her first contract outside of Sweden in 1946, Pippi Longstocking has been translated into 70 different languages! The exciting part is that more languages are in the pipeline, and some of the requests are unique.
Lina Talgre, Senior Foreign Rights Manager at Saltkrakan AB, says, “Some requests are totally irresistible. My own favourite – which I really hope will become a reality – is the translation of Pippi Longstocking into Udmurt, the language spoken in the Republic of Udmurtia in Russia. It’s a region known for its many redheaded inhabitants.” With a city full fo redheads, they’d be silly to pass up the translation opportunity!
Dutch Fans Are Raising Thousands Of Euros For Pippi Actress
Inger Nilsson was just eight-years-old when she was cast to portray Pippi Longstocking in the 1969 TV series. The show turned into an international success. But in a 2019 interview, Nilsson revealed that she hadn’t been paid much for the role and that she received zero royalties from its enormous success.
Upon hearing the news, two Dutch fans set up a crowdfunding effort to raise money for the three stars of the series: Nilsson, and co-stars Par Sundberg and Marian Persson who played Pippi’s friends. So far, fans have donated a little over 20,000 euros to the three stars.
Pippi Is Very Similar To The Scottish Character Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a fictional character created by the Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie. The character is known for leading a rag-tag team of lost boys, a fairy sidekick, and, most importantly, for never wanting to grow up.
Not surprisingly, this is the same mindset that Pippi Longstocking has during her adventures. She has her group of friends — granted, two are animals — and she is always up for fun adventures. Oh, and our mischievous redhead has mentioned a few times that she doesn’t ever want to grow old.
Pippi Is A Bit Isolated From Society
Even though she doesn’t seem it, the character of Pippi is actually pretty alone in the world. Her appearance sets her apart from other people in town and even earns her a few taunts throughout the books. We like to think those people grew out of teasing someone who looks different, though!
But adding to that, Pippi doesn’t have parents, so she is alone in her house with only a monkey and horse to keep her company. She’s also superhumanly strong, and many of society’s rules don’t suit her because of it. Put everything together, and you have one isolated nine-year-old girl.
Pippi Is A Great Friend
Throughout her adventures, we see that Pippi’s principals are inconsistent at best. She also seems a bit self-absorbed for a nine-year-old. But one thing in her personality remains consistent: Pippi always puts her friends, Tommy and Annika’s, needs before her own.
Townspeople can say whatever they want about the rambunctious child, but they can’t say she is disloyal. Honestly, on her birthday, she doesn’t ask for anything but instead gives her friends presents! What nine-year-old even thinks of doing something like that!
Pippi Lives By Herself
Pippi isn’t like other children. For one, she is an orphan and lives by herself in a huge house called Villakulla Cottage in the middle of the forest. Well, she lives there with her monkey, Mr. Nilsson, and her horse. But Pippi is an orphan with no family to speak of.
Her mother passed away shortly after Pippi’s birth and her father was lost at sea. It is said that Pippi acquired many of her quirks from her father, as well as her independence, from her time aboard his ship traveling around the world.
Pippi Is Not Formally Educated
Although Pippi Longstocking is very smart, she is not formally educated and that’s a fact her friends Tommy and Annika’s mother, Ms. Settergren, deeply disapproves of. Pippi’s lack of schooling and her nontraditional upbringing leads her to be very much ignorant of social norms. After all, she does put bullies and police officers in trees for doing bad things, something that would not be okay in society!
Although Pippi does try to enroll in Tommy and Annika’s school, she gets told off by the teacher. It’s not Pippi’s fault that the drawing of her horse was too big for the paper, so she had to use the floor as a canvas!
There Was An Anime Show In The Works
In 1971, filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki proposed an anime version of Pippi Longstocking called Pippi Longstocking: The Strongest Girl in the World. Miyazaki and director Isao Takahata went on location scouts and even met with Astrid Lindgren to discuss the project.
Ultimately, for reasons that are unknown to the public, Lindgren did not give them permission to move forward with the project. All that remains of Miyazaki’s idea is the watercolor storyboards that resurfaced on LiveJournal in 2009. The sketches have since been collected into a soft-cover book titled Maboroshi no ‘Nagakutsushita no Pippi’ (Illusions of “Pippi Longstocking”).
A New Movie Is In The Works
The movie that Pippi fans have been waiting for is in the works! The film is going to be released by Studiocanal and Heyday Films, the same companies that brought us the reboot of Paddington a few years back, so it’s bound to be good! Not to mention the producer of the Harry Potter franchise, David Heyman, is on board.
The film is going to be live-action and not animated like the recent versions of Pippi. Studiocanal CEO Didier Lupfer, says, “Pippi will play to the imaginations of adults and children alike, and we are so delighted to bring her beautifully enduring stories to life.”
Pippi’s Story Is Evergreen
Even though the books were published way back in the 1940s, Pippi’s stories are still very relevant to today’s youth. The fact that Pippi is a free spirit living alone without adult supervision is very appealing to many young people!
Pippi is bold and charismatic, standing up for people who are getting bullied while marching to the beat of her own drum. Not to mention she has super strength. What kid wouldn’t want to grow up to be Pippi Longstocking, even if her story is from the World War II-era?
She’s Super Strong
One of the many quirks of Pippi Longstocking is that she is super strong. And when we say super strong we really mean it. Pippi is able to lift her horse over her head, after all! And horses are no small animals.
During some of her adventures, Pippi is able to beat a strong man at the circus, and pick two police officers up by the belts and toss them out of her home when they try to bring her to a home for kids. Let’s just say that it’s not very often that Pippi doesn’t win in a fight or get what she wants!
Pippi, Tommy, And Annika Go On A Dangerous Rescue Mission
Out of all of Pippi’s adventures, the one where she and her two friends, Annika and Tommy, go to save her father from a band of pirates is probably the riskiest. After all, her source of information is coming from a message in a bottle! Does anyone ever tell this girl that they should get a bit more evidence before waltzing over to an island in the South Seas?
Not to mention, their rescue plan revolved around a hot air balloon with a bed attached to it in place of a basket, a home-made airplane, and a hijacked pirate ship.
Pippi Was Turned Into A Ballet
In 2005, Pippi Longstocking took to the ballet stage in a colorful choreography that mixed together both street dancing and classical steps. Pippi’s story had previously been made into a film and TV series, even a musical for the theatre, but never a ballet. That is, until Lindgren gave her blessing to the Royal Swedish Ballet’s production in Stockholm.
The 36-year-old dancer who plays Pippi, Anna Valev, says, “I’ve had more fun dancing Pippi than in any role before. It’s very special. Generations of people have read the books and seen the films and I’m very honoured to be the first one to dance as Pippi.”