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Ronia, the Robber's Daughter

original title: Ronja Rövardotter


  • Theatrical Version
  • TV-Series
Release: Oct 24, 2015 - Author: pippovic - Translator: Sakaro - external link: IMDB
The Movie

Beside Pippi Longstocking and Emil, "Ronia, the Robber's Daughter" is one of the most popular works by Astrid Lindgren, who is one of the most popular authors for children's literature in the world. The book is the only one set in a completely fictional world. In addition to that, the book is a lot darker and more serious than all her other novels. In 1983 the novel was adapted as a motion picture by Tage Danielsson. As with most of the other adaptations of her works,Lindgren also wrote the script for "Ronia, the Robber's Daughter" and was present most of the time during the shooting of the movie (back then she was 76 years old). The rough language and demeanor of the robbers in connection with brilliant shots of the landscape and great actors give the movie a very special atmosphere that adds to the original and educational story. The adaptation is a co-production of the Swedish film industry and the German TV-channel ZDF.

The Different Versions

The most famous version of the adaptation of "Ronia, the Robber's Daughter" is the international theatrical version. It was released in several European countries between 1984 - 1986.

Beside the theatrical version, there exists a TV-series with six episodes. This version contains almost all scenes from the theatrical version and furthermore many additional scenes. Some scenes from the theatrical version were also extended. This version probably is the original TV-Series. These are the facts that point to that conclusion:
1. It is the longest version of the adaptation.
2. The series is divided into six episodes, each 25 minutes long. This is the typical running-time of other episodes from other Lindgren TV-series, such as Pippi Longstocking, Emil or Seacrow Island.
3. The series is available with the original Swedish audiotrack.
4. At the beginning of each episode, like in the theatrical version, the logo of the Swedish film industrie is shown.

A third version is the German TV-Series. It contains almost all new scenes from the original TV-series, but some of the scenes that were already used in the theatrical cut are a little bit shorter. Thus, the German TV-series is longer than the theatrical cut but shorter than the original TV-series. Beside the alternative editing, there is more evidence for the assumption that the German version of the series was probably exclusively made by the German TV-channel ZDF.
1. The series is divided into three parts, each 45 minutes long. None of the other Lindgren series has this running-time.
2. The title, as well as the opening and closing credits are blue and in a different typeface. They look rather amateurish, as if they were added later.
Having said that, one can only speculate how and why this version was made. So far the version has only been aired on German television and has been released on DVD.

The Comparison of the versions is pretty difficult, since the TV-series are divided into different number of episodes, which each have seperateopening and ending credits. Moreover, all episodes, except the first ones, feature a narrator that briefly summerizes the previous events in the first couple of scenes. In the German series, the narration already begins before the episode starts with a fixed-image as background. However, both in the German and in the Swedish cut, the narrator sometimes introduces new scenes. Something similar is true for the ending credits of the original series. In some episode the closing melody starts before the last scene has ended. However, the difference is not more than a few seconds.

This Comparison

Here, the German DVD of the theatrical version from Universum is compared with a recording of the three episodes of German TV-series from the German TV-channel Premiere Junior. It is important to note that in each version there are scenes that are longer. Having said that, new scenes are only in the TV-series. That is why sometimes, scenes from the threatical version are longer and at other times scenes from the TV-series. This is mentioned in the censorship report.

Running-time of the theatrical version: 120:42 min. (119:38 min. without closing credits)

Running-time of the German TV-series:
1. episode: 43:39 min. (42:43 min. without closing credits)
2. episode: 43:16 min. (42:07 min. without closing credits)
3. episode: 43:23 min. (42:27 min. without closing credits)

Thus, the TV-series is 459 seconds (7 min. 39 sec.) longer than the theatrical version.

27x new editing
1 additional scenes
1 change of dialogue
The opening credits are different at several different points. The one of the theatrical version is significantly longer, since it shows more actual "credits".

Before the movie begins an animated logo is shown in the theatrical version.
12 sec (the theatrical version is longer)

0.32 (time index theatrical version)
0.13 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
The title of the theatrical version is different from the TV-version. In the theatrical version the font is red for the title and green for the credits of cast & crew. The TV-version begins with a blue insertion.
no time difference

1.02 (time index theatrical version)
0.46 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
The scene in which the robber is riding toward the castle is longer in the theatrical version because more credits are shown there.
That's why the song the robbers are singing in that scene is not complete in the TV-version.
13 sec (the theatrical version is longer)

1.56 (time index theatrical version)
1.28 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
In the theatrical version the shot of the castle with clouds passing by is longer. Moreover, additional text-based information is shown.
74 sec the theatrical version is longer)

11.10(time index theatrical version)
9.28 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
After Lovis has convinced her husband Mattis that they have to allow her daughter to leave the castle and that she has to learn to cope with the dangers of the forest, Ronia looks excited and and runs to the wall of the castle. How she runs there is only shown in the TV-version, though. Ronia says that she has waited way too long. The theatrical version continues when Ronia has reached the wall and shouts that she can't wait to face the dangers.
11 sec (the TV-version is longer)

12.41 (time index theatrical version)
11.09 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Mattis laughs loudly. Since he and Ronia are outside, his laughter reverberates or rather one can hear its echo. This echo is not in the theatrical version.
no time difference

12.57 (time index theatrical version)
11.25 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Mattis shouts something after his daughter. Again, the echo is there only in the TV-version.
no time difference

15.04 (time index theatrical version)
13.33 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
In the TV-version the reflection of Ronia's face in the forest lake is shown slightly longer.
1 sec (the TV-version is longer)

16.48 (time index theatrical version)
15.18 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Matt steals a piece of jewelry from the noble woman.In between a short shot that shows how one of his robbers rides away with a stolen horse. In the background, the lansquenets call for help.
7 Sec (the TV-version is longer)

17.32 (time index theatrical version)
16.09 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Ronia sits on a rock in the forest and is eating an egg. In the TV-version she is shown watching more animals.
12 Sec (the TV-version is longer)

19.58 (time index theatrical version)
18.46 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
The theatrical shows much longer how the grey dwarfs threaten the scared Ronia. Eventually she has to defend herself against some of the furry creatures that want to harm her.
Ronia tells them to get away from her. Then the creatures move in closer and try to grab Ronia. Ronia hits back with her leather pouch.
She again tells them to back off and pushes one of the gnomes away from her.
Finally, Matt appears with his robbers and frees his daughter from the siege of the dwarfs. At that point the TV-version continues.
47 Sec (the theatrical version is longer)

Next is an alternative scene. Both versions first show a dialogue in which Ronia says to Noddle-Pete that she was about to leave and intended to watch out for the evil wild harpies. In the TV-version Ronia indeed is attack by the wild harpies for the first time, whereas in the theatrical version she goes to the Greedy Falls, sits down on a rock and starts singing. The TV-version is 9 seconds longer.

23.42 (time index theatrical version)
21.43 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Theatrical version:
First, Ronia climbs up a rock that is close to the river. Then she goes to the Greedy Falls, sit down on a ledge and hums a melody.
38 Sec

Ronia is walking through a rocky area. Wild harpies sit on the mountains. When they spot Ronia they want to attack her. One of the harpies threatens her that blood will flow and laughs sinisterly. Several wild harpies rise up from their rocks and fly toward Ronia. Ronia runs away. One of the harpies tells her not to run away because they want to catch her. But Ronia doesn't stop; instead she jumps head first into the forest lake and dives to a bush at its bank. The wild harpies keep calling for her but Ronia gets out of the lake and begins her way home to the castle.
47 sec

The following dialogue with Noodle-Pete: In order to match the previous scenes, Ronia's answers are different. At the end of each dialogue she says that she has followed everything Matt has told her. This is actually not true in the theatrical version, since she did not encounter the wild harpies which Matt had mentioned. The TV-version is 4 seconds longer.

24.28 (time index theatrical version)
22.40 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Theatrical version:
Noddle-Pete asks Ronia whether she has jumped into the river. Ronia replies that she was eating something at the Greedy Falls and that she has followed all of Matt's advises, except the one related to Hell's Gap. But she adds that she would also be careful about that after she has dried up. This makes Noddle-Pete laugh and he tells Ronia that she is a witty child.
18 Sec

Noddle-Pete also asks Ronia whether she has jumped into the river, but here Ronia adds that she had to hide from the wild harpies. Noddle-Pete reconfirms that. Then the dialogue continues the same way as in the theatrical version.
22 sec

24.49 (time index theatrical version)
23.06 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
In the TV-version the long shot of the castle is slightly longer.
1 sec (the TV-version is longer)

36.45 (time index theatrical version)
35.02 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
After Birk has saved Ronia from going to the Unearthly Ones, the TV-version shows the two walking home.
13 sec (the TV-version is longer)

37.42 (time index theatrical version)
36.12 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Ronia suddenly asks Matt what he has taken without asking (She heard about from Borka). Matt, who has just finished a conversation with Noddle-Pete is at a loss to explain. Only in the TV-version does he try to divert their attention away from the question with the following distraction. He points to the fire with a cautery, which makes Noddle-Pete look into that direction. Matt says that the fire looks like a grotesque face, like Borka. Noddle-Pete bursts out in laughter, but Ronia is not distracted. Ronia insists he answer the question. Noddle-Pete is first to reply ans says that Matt has taken lots of things, which he could enumerate. Matt interrupts Noddle-Pete and tells him to keep his mouth shut. After that asks him accusingly whether he has really taken something without asking. The theatrical version continues with Matt's excuse. He claims it was only because Ronia was such an innocent girl. In the theatrical version this answer doesn't really match the initial question, since the previous dialogue is missing.
14 sec (the TV-version is longer)

41.25 (time index theatrical version)
40.10 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
Ronia skies longer in the theatrical version. She has fun although her attempts at skiing look rather clumsy.
33 sec(the theatrical version is longer)

43.43 (time index theatrical version)
41.57 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
In the theatrical version the rumphobs are shown longer in the cave when Ronia is stuck. In between there is an inter-cut to Ronia, who is calling for help. However, the rumphobs don't seem to be interested in that and talk about the child in the cradle.When rumphob with Ronia's bonnet on his head enters the room, the others free him from that.
40 sec (the theatrical version is longer)

44.40 (time index theatrical version)
42.12 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
The sinister laughter of the harpies is followed by a clearly audible echo in the TV-version.
no time-difference

44.42 (time index theatrical version)
42.14 (time index TV-version: 1. episode)
The single wild harpie threatens Ronia longer in the theatrical version and tries two times to catch her hair with its claws. Furthermore, the harpie says more and the editing is different.
20 sec (the theatrical version is longer)

The first episode of the TV-version ends at 42.43 with closing credits and a fixed-image of Ronia crying in the snow as background.

47.39 (time index theatrical version)
2.39 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
After Ronia has returned to the castle,the TV-version shows a couple of pictures of elks in the snow-covered forest.
10 sec (the TV-version is longer)

55.05 (time index theatrical version)
10.06 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
The theatrical version shows the naked robbers washing themselves with snow longer.
22 sec(the theatrical version is longer)

59.36 (time index theatrical version)
14.14 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
After Spring has come, the TV-version shows how the robbers ride through Wolf's Neck to hunt. Ronia follows them and later walks through a swampy part of the forest.
32 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:01.12 (time index theatrical version)
16.21 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
In the TV-version a long scene that is not included in the theatrical version begins here. Ronia has met Birk in the forest and re-taken her bonnet from the rumphob, Birk spots wild horses. Ronia asks him to catch one. First Birk jokingly catches Ronia. Then he stalks up to the horses and tries to catch two of them with a leather strap. The horses resist his attempts and buck but eventually Birk gets them under control. Due to their resistance Ronia and Birk give them the names Villian and Savage. After the horses have calmed down Ronia tries to ride Villian but is thrown off into a river. Birk ends up there, too. Now, they decide to run themselves dry while chasing the horses down. The scene has quite some dialogue, which I won't mention here.
125 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:03.26 (time index theatrical version)
20.41 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
After the battle between the two robber clans, Ronia begins her way home. The TV-version adds the following: At Wolf's Neck she meets two robbers that seem to be amused about something. Little-Snip asks the other robber laughingly what he thinks Borka would say about something. The other robber answers that he prefers not to know. Ronia asks them what they are laughing about. Little-Snip tells her to run home really fast because a surprise would be waiting for her there. Ronia follows their suggestion, which makes the robbers stop laughing and look at each other seriously.
22 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:12.01 (time index theatrical version)
After Ronia and Birk have returned to the forest,the TV-version briefly shows how Ronia walks back to the castle.
14 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:14.38 (time index theatrical version)
32.50 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
In the TV-version Ronia walks to the Bear's Cave slightly longer.
1 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:21.20 (time index theatrical version)
39.11 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
Only the TV-version shows a longer scene here. Two children sit in the Bear's Cave while outside it is raining cats and dogs. They wonder whether their parents worry about them.
39 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:23.21 (time index theatrical version)
41.52 (time index TV-version: 2. episode)
When Birk is looking for Ronia, the TV-version shows how he passes a rivers.
13 sec (the TV-version is longer)

The second episode of the TV-version ends at 42.07 with closing credits. The fixed-image in the background shows Birk running through the forest looking for Ronia. Paradoxically, the third episode begins like the first one. The robbers are riding through the forest. I guess this was done to give the narrator more time for the introduction.

1:24.49 (time index theatrical version)
1.49 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
When the two children attend to the injured mare, the rumphob talks with them. In the TV-version he says more. Moreover, Ronia is shown folding her kerchief.
4 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:24.55 (time index theatrical version)
1.59 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
Here the rumphob says "ew" more often in the TV-version.
2 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:37.56 (time index theatrical version)
15.05 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
The theatrical version shows slightly longer how Matt is waiting for Ronia.
1 sec (the theatrical version is longer)

1:41.21 (time index theatrical version)
18.29 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
After Ronia has returned to the castle with Matt, the TV-version shows how Matt heats up water for Ronia's bath. He is looking forward to pouring it over her head.
14 sec (the TV-version is longer)

Here a couple of longer scenes that are only in the TV-version follow.

1:43.55 (time index theatrical version)
21.17 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
Noddle-Pete suggest Matt to unite the two robber-clans. After that, Ronia suggests him to completely end their life as robbers. This suggestion baffles Matt, but Noddle-Pete supports Ronia's suggestion. He asks Matt whether he has never noticed that there are people out there that aren't robbers but who still live a happy life. Afterward, he turns to Ronia and Matt doesn't say anything anymore.
24 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:43.55 (time index theatrical version)
21.42 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
Borka tricks Matt by dressing up as a noble woman and ambushing him. When Matt and his robbers want to rob him he reveals himself. Matt and his men have to retreat and the Borka-robbers burst out into laughter.
93 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:43.55 (time index theatrical version)
23.16 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
After their retreat Matt's robbers notice how a group of lansquenets close in on Borka's clan. The lansquenets apprehend Borka and his men. Matt and his men come to their help and free them. He proposes Borka to unite their clans, but since the two former enemies cannot agree on a leader, they agree to have a duel early the next morning.
193 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:46.39 (time index theatrical version)
29.14 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
After the duel Birk and Ronia prepare a surprise party to mark the unification and reconciliation of the two clans. This is briefly shown in the TV-version.
9 sec (the TV-version is longer)

1:59.03 (time index theatrical version)
41.27 (time index TV-version: 3. episode)
After Matt and Lovis have left the room,the TV-version shows the empty room longer.
2 sec (the TV-version is longer)

The final closing-credits are different. In the theatrical version the sun rises fast while the credits are shown on a white background. In the TV-version the sun rises more slowly and the credits are presented in the same was as in the previous episodes.
theatrical version