The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (ニルスのふしぎな旅 Nirusu no Fushigi na Tabi?) is an anime adaptation of the novel The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf. The 52 episode series ran on the Japanese network NHK from January 1980 to March 1981. The series was the very first production by Studio Pierrot. The anime was mostly fairly true to the original, apart from the appearance of Nils' pet hamster, and the greater role allowed to the fox Smirre. The music was written by Czech composer Karel Svoboda.
The anime was also broadcast in Canada (in French), France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Iceland (as "Nilli Hólmgeirsson") Belgium, Greece (as "Το θαυμαστό ταξίδι του Νίλς Χόλγκερσον" - "The wondrous journey of Nils Holgersson"), Bulgaria (as "Чудното пътуване на Нилс Холгерсон с дивите гъски" ("The wondrous journey of Nils Holgersson with the Wild Geese")) The Netherlands, Poland (as "Nils and the wild geese"), Portugal, Romania, in the Arab World (as "مغامرات نيلز" Nils' Adventures), Spain, Slovenia (as "Nils Holgerson" with one s), Hungary (as "Nils Holgersson csodálatos utazása a vadludakkal"), Israel (as "נילס הולגרסון"), Turkey (as "Uçan Kaz" ("The Flying Goose")), Italy, Hong Kong (dubbed into Cantonese), Mainland China, South Africa (Translated to Afrikaans), and Albania, but in some countries it was cut to allow for commercials. In Germany, the animated series episodes were also combined into one full feature animated movie (~ 1h 22min in length) in 1981; the same release has also been dubbed and released in Estonia on DVD & VHS.
Nils Holgersson is a 14 year old farm boy, the son of poor farmers. He is lazy and disrespectful to his fellowman. In his spare time he enjoys abusing the animals in his family farm. One day Nils captures a tomte in a net while his family is at church and have left him home to memorize chapters from the Bible. The tomte proposes to Nils that if Nils frees him, the tomte will give him a huge gold coin. Nils rejects the offer and the tomte turns Nils into a tomte, which leaves him shrunken and able to talk with animals, who are thrilled to see the boy reduced to their size and are angry and hungry for revenge. While this is happening, wild geese are flying over the farm on one of their migrations, and a white farm goose called Morten attempts to join the wild ones. Nils manages to flee on Morten's back together with his new hamster friend Carrot, and they join a flock of wild geese flying towards Lapland for summer.
The wild geese, who are not pleased at all to be joined by a boy and a domestic goose, eventually take him on an adventurous trip across all the historical provinces of Sweden, they encounter many adventures and characters like Smirre. Along the ride and at the same time the characters and situations Nils encounters make him learn to help other people and not be selfish. During the trip, Nils learns that if he proves he has changed for the better, the tomte might be disposed to change him back to his normal size.
- Nils - Nils is the main hero of the series. He lives with his family on a farm in Sweden. Nils is lazy and disrespectful to his fellowman and enjoys abusing animals in his spare time. After the farm's tomte magically shrinks Nils he become much smaller than all the animals and is capable of speaking and understanding animals language. Since all of the farm animals are out for revenge, Nils travels with a flock of wild geese whom is flying to the south of Sweden where it is warmer. Nils wishes to transform back to his original size.
- Carrot - Nils' little hamster friend, which also joins him on the ride.
- Morten - A goose which originally belongs to Nils' family. Nils originally flies away from his farm on Morton's back after the farm's animals are seeking to get their revenge on Nils.
- Captain Akka (Akka of Kebnekaise) - The matriarch of the wild geese flock.
- Gusta - A warm-hearted, if not very bright female goose of the flock.
- Ingrid -
- Gunnar - At the beginning of the journey, he is quite stern. Over time and after falling in love with Ingrid, he learns to loosen up, though.
- Dunfuin -
- Smirre - Primary antagonist and evil fox, who wants to eat the wild geese, but because of Nils it never happens. It follows wild geese to the Lapland. This character doesn't appear in the novel.
- Rosenbaum -
- Ondori -
- Gacho -
- Gorgo - A large, black eagle, that was found in an empty nest by Akka, years ago. She raised him and taught him, how to survive by eating fish, rather than preying on animals, such as geese.
- Suirii -
- Ten -
- The Witch of Storm (Isatter Kajsa)-
- Mischievous Nils
- Shrunken Nils
- Riding a goose
- SOS of the forest squirrels
- Morten's big pinch
- Bird strength contest
- Battle of the mice
- The crane's ball
- Hungry Nils
- Lex's evil scheme
- Walking lead statue
- Morten's first love
- Goats of Hell's valley
- Phantom town appearing on moonlit nights
- The greedy crow and the coin bowl
- Choose a crow boss
- Ransomed duck child
- The lake disappears
- Spoiled fawn
- Snake's revenge
- A testy witch's prank
- Bear twins who prowl the forest
- Flood of swan lake
- Operation 'To hell with Lex the guard-dog'
- Rescue party from the sky
- One stormy day
- The story until now / Morten's engagement
- Nils singing on a streetcorner
- Arrested eagle
- The taste of freshly baked bread
- Monster of the forest
- Look out, Nils: A mountain fire
- Patrol of five
- Battle of the spirits of sun and ice
- Goose guard child looking for his father
- Bird love
- Morten the rookie papa
- Lapland, land where the sun never sets
- Don't follow me, Golgo
- Wolf attack
- Lake fire festival
- Big man who built a forest
- Nils's lullabye
- Bataki shut in
- Haunted house on a full moon
- Sea shining silver
- Main event of the village festival
- Lex's new journey
- Nils discovers a secret
- Wild goose's present
- To my old home
- Goodbye, Akka
- Nils: Mami Koyama
- Carrot: Tadashi Yamazaki (character original to anime)
- Márton: Yoshito Yasuhara
- Akka: Nobuko Terashima
- Gunnar: Hideyuki Tanaka
- Ingrid: Minori Matsushima
- Gusta: Shigeru Chiba
- Lasse: Kenichi Ogata
- Suirii: Yoneko Matsukane
- Dunfin: Kumiko Takizawa
- Golgo: Tesshō Genda
- Lex: Kei Tomiyama
- Fairy: Ryōji Saikachi
- Emmerich: Sanji Hase
- Nils' Father: Masane Tsukayama
- Nils' Mother: Masako Ikeda
A Japanese DVD Region 2 box set of the series was produced in 2002, and a French DVD box set in 2005. An English DVD release was never made.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "The Wonderful Adventures of Nils." Studio Pierrot. Retrieved on February 10, 2009.
- ↑ Jonathan Clements, Helen McCarthy. The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917. Revised and Expanded Edition. — Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press, 2006. — P. 450. — ISBN 978-1933330105
- The Wonderful Adventures of Nils
- (Japanese) Nils no Fushigi na Tabi
- Nils no Fushigi na Tabi at the Internet Movie Database
- The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopediaar:مغامرات نيلزit:Nils Holgersson (anime)