I am a child of the 80’s and 90’s, and when I was growing up; the only thing Pippi Longstocking I had were the books, and The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking movie from 1988.
Prior to his directorial debut, Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli cofounder Isao Takahata were looking to make classics into anime series. They would eventually have success with Heidi of the Mountains in 1974. They were looking into making Pippi Longstocking into an anime television series. Miyazaki already had sketches done up when they met with the author and the holders of the book rights. These sketches are amazing.
Unfortunately, both the author and rights holders were unimpressed, and gave the two animators a thumbs down; and the show never got made. Thanks to The Astrid Lindgren estate for burying the hatchet with Studio Ghibli (supposedly Miyazaki never forgot nor forgave being snubbed by them), the drawings have resurfaced, and have now been collected into book form. The book, titled “Maboroshi no ‘Nagakutsushita no Pippi (Pippi Longstockings (That Never saw the Light of Day)), has been released in this past October, but the images are now making the rounds on the internet.
As always, the art from Miyazaki is amazing, and it is quite a shame that this was not approved to become an anime series. I would’ve enjoyed it immensely. I am almost upset that this was given a no by the estate; if they had only known how fitting and an honor it would’ve been to see this done by Miyazaki. Enjoy more sketches below.
Source: animenewsnetwork.com, nerdist.com
All sketches copyright of Studio Ghibli