Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, Astrid Lindgren’s final great work, was released in 1981. The book has been translated into 41 languages and more than 10 million copies have been sold worldwide. Now – 35 years later – it comes to us in an entirely new guise, created by Gorō Miyazaki of the legendary Studio Ghibli in Japan. The series has been nominated for an International Emmy and won the prize at the Asian Television Awards for “Best 2D Animation Program”.
First time outside Japan
“We’re proud and happy that, together with Studio Ghibli, we’re now able to present the TV series for the first time outside Japan,” says Olle Nyman, CEO of Saltkråkan AB. “Gorō Miyazaki and his co-workers have done a fantastic job – as well as being true to the original text, they’ve also created a visually astonishing and unique experience that truly enhances the story.”
Gorō Miyaxaki’s first TV series
Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter is Gorō Miyaxaki’s first TV series. It is also the first time that an Astrid Lindgren book has been animated by the famous Japanese studio – more than forty years after Gorō Miyazaki’s father, Hayao Miyazaki, visited Stockholm to seek Astrid Lindgren’s approval for the making of an animated film based on Pippi Longstocking.
“The first time I read Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter, was when I had earlier been planning to make a film based on the book,” says Gorō Miyazaki. “Since it was difficult in one single film to sum up the entire story, which spans several years and different stages of Ronja’s life, I’d given up on the idea of making a film of it. But, with this TV series covering 26 episodes, it became possible to give the film a format that follows the original chapters. And I’m very happy about that.”
Dubbing into Swedish
Malin Billing, Manager for Theatrical Rights at Saltkråkan and one of Astrid Lindgren’s grandchildren, has been responsible for securing the quality of the translation from Japanese and of the dubbing into Swedish.
“This work has been both fun and challenging,” says Malin Billing. “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter is set in the Middle Ages, and the book is full of names, words and expressions that Astrid Lindgren herself made up. The language is straightforward and totally void of modern terminology or borrowed words. For us at Saltkråkan it has been important that the script agrees with the linguistic mode of the novel and, at the same time, fits the new format. The magic of the series becomes even stronger when hearing it in your mother tongue.”
Life lived in symbiosis with nature
Nature and a longing back to a life lived in symbiosis with nature was essential for Astrid Lindgren: “If anyone asks me what I remember from my childhood, my first thought is actually not of the people. But of that beautiful environment which framed my days then and filled them with such intensity, that as a grown-up you can hardly comprehend it. Wild strawberries among the rocks, carpets of blue spring flowers, meadows full of cowslips, special places where blueberries could be found, the forest where dainty pink flowers were nestling in the moss …”
Since Astrid Lindgren lived in Stockholm, it was not always possible for her to be out in the countryside, but she could be there in her fantasies. This was the origin of the story about Ronja – the author’s longing for the wilds.
From Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter: “They’d talked about the forest. But not until she saw it, so dark and mysterious with all its sighing trees, did she understand what the forest was, and she laughed quietly at the very existence of the rivers and the forests. She could hardly believe it! Imagine – big trees and great waters existed and were alive – wasn’t that reason enough to laugh!”
Update April 6, 2016: “Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter” won the Emmy Kids Awards in the category of Kids Animation
The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences last night announced the winners of the 4th International Emmy Kids Awards which took place for the first time at MIPTV, in Cannes, in partnership with Reed MIDEM.
“I am greatly excited to be receiving the International Emmy Kids Award becase we created Ronja for kids. I would like to share my delight today with all of the relevant people. Thank you very much,” says Goro Miyazaki.
Source: Saltkråkan; photos: NHK + NEP + Dwango, licensed by Saltkråkan