The story begins when, Heidi, a 5 year old orphan girl is taken by her Aunt Dete, to live with her grandfather, Adolph Kramer, who has lived alone in the Alpine mountains for years. Although, at first Kramer does not speak to her, he gradually grows to love her.
When Pastor Schultz comes for a visit, he says Heidi should be going to school. Grandfather, sends the pastor away, but after remembering the story of the prodigal son, the grandfather takes Heidi to church where they are welcomed with open arms.
Things are going well until Heidi's eighth birthday, Aunt Dete shows up and and takes her to Frankfurt to be the companion/friend of invalid Klara Sesemann. When Heidi arrives, Fraulein Rottenmeier thinks that Heidi is not a proper companion and demands the Aunt to take her back to the Alpine mountains. Klara, really wants her to stay and Fraulein Rottenmeier agrees that Heidi can stay the only the night. Klara promises her that if she is still homesick when her father returns for Christmas in two weeks, she will ask him to take Heidi back to her Grandfather. Grandfather heartsick, begins to walk the hundred mile journey to Frankfurt.
On Christmas Eve, Klara's, Christmas gift to her father is that she can stand and walk with Heidi's help. Sesemann, knowing grandfather's mean personality from Dete, does not think it a good idea to send her back and no longer trusting Fraulein Rottenmeier, fires her.
Later... on Christmas Eve, Grandfather is arrested for disturbing the peace while looking for Heidi. A few minutes later he makes a break for it, just in time to save Heidi from Fraulein Rottenmeier, who is trying to sell her to the gypsies. When the police catch up with grandfather, Fraulein Rottenmeier says that he stole "her" child, will the the police captain believe her..
Cast: Shirley Temple, Jean Hersholt (grandfather)
Heidi, is one of my favorite Christmas movies, that I love to watch while decorating the Christmas tree...Melts my heart every time I watch it.
The movie was filmed during the summer.
The Alpine scenes were filmed at Lake Arrowhead, California.