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WTTW Press Room

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2008


National public television special brings the classic children's story of HEIDI to life - with a twist National Feed Date: Sunday, November 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm. (ET) (check local listings)

Chicago, IL - WTTW National Productions is proud to announce the premiere of HEIDI 4 PAWS: A FURRY TALE. This one-hour television special is sure to delight family members of all ages as it re-tells the classic children's story of Heidi featuring adorable dogs in all the roles! Written originally by Johanna Spyri in 1881, this all-time classic has been translated into over 70 languages. Now, in the tradition of Wishbone, Babe and Charlotte's Web, audiences can enjoy a new version of this timeless masterpiece! HEIDI 4 PAWS: A FURRY TALE will feed to public television stations nationwide on Sunday, November 23 at 12:00 p.m. (ET) (check local listings).

Combining the love of animals with cutting-edge special effects, this entertaining children's story achieves an emotional depth unprecedented in the "talking animal" genre. Featuring a talented team of sixteen dogs, HEIDI 4 PAWS: A FURRY TALE is filmed in high definition and comes to life as the dogs are "mouth-articulated" with state-of-the-art 3D computer animation. Shot in live-action with panoramic backgrounds, each scene features real dogs in character costumes including wigs, hats, and in many cases eyeglasses and even shoes.

An impressive list of well-known actors lend their voices to characters including Angela Lansbury who portrays Grandmamma Sesehund; Stephen Rea as the kindly Doctor; Julian Sands as Peter the Goat herder; and Steve Guttenberg as Sebastian the butler.

HEIDI 4 PAWS: A FURRY TALE begins as the young orphan, Heidi (in this case, an adorable yellow lab puppy) is taken to the mountains by Detie, the social worker (a feisty beagle) to live with her Grandfather (voiced by Richard Kind, portrayed physically by an elderly sheepdog)who is reluctant to accept her. But with time, Heidi falls in love with her Grandfather, his goats, and Peter the goat herder (voiced by Julian Sands, played by a greyhound mix). When Detie secretly returns and takes Heidi away to the big city, they are all powerless to stop her. Placed in a family with a young invalid named Clara (voiced by Kimberly Beck Clark and portrayed by a poodle-mix), Heidi learns how to read, the true value of deep friendship and the importance of family. After a calamity of sleepwalking puts Heidi and the family in danger, she is allowed to go back home to the mountains. Joyously reunited with her Grandfather, Heidi asks for Clara to come visit. When Clara's Grandmother (Angela Lansbury) makes the trip with Clara at her side, a heartwarming reunion brings both families together. The final miracle of the story occurs when Clara regains the ability to walk in a scene which highlights why this unique version of Heidi is destined to be a classic in its own right.

HEIDI 4 PAWS: A FURRY TALE is written and directed by family film creator Holly Goldberg Sloan (writer of the movies Angels in the Outfield, The Big Green, Made in America and The Crocodile Hunter Movie). It is presented by WTTW National Productions and distributed by American Public Television. HEIDI 4 PAWS: A FURRY TALE is sponsored by VCA Animal Hospitals; The Aquarium of the Bay/San Francisco; Tails and Company; and My Gym.  

About 4 Paws Entertainment
4 PAWS ENTERTAINMENT LLC is introducing a unique brand of entertainment that will appeal to all members of the family, right down to the family dog. Led by writer-director Holly Goldberg Sloan, an established name in family entertainment, the 4 PAWS founders have taken the special connection we share with our canine friends and have invented an exciting and unique family entertainment franchise.

About American Public Television
With more than 10,000 hours of programming in its library, American Public Television (APT) has been a prime source of programming for the nation's public television stations for 47 years, distributing more than 300 new program titles per year. In 2006, APT launched Create – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. Known for its leadership in identifying innovative, worthwhile and viewer-friendly programming, APT has established a tradition of providing public television stations with program choices that strengthen and customize their schedules, such as such as Rick Steves' Europe, Worldfocus, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Sara's Weeknight Meals, America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated, Doc Martin, Broadway: The Golden Age, Lidia's Family Table, Rosemary and Thyme, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, The Big Comfy Couch, Celine Dion: A New Day, Queen Rock Montreal, Monarchy With David Starkey, Spain...on the road Again, and other prominent documentaries, dramatic series, how-to programs, children's series and classic movies. For more information about APT's programs and services, visit

About WTTW National Productions
WTTW National Productions is a premier producer and presenter of original, high-quality television programs for both public and commercial television broadcast. WTTW National Productions is a division of Window to the World Communications, Inc., the parent company of WTTW11 Chicago. For more than 50 years, WTTW11 and WTTW National Productions have introduced a wide array of ground-breaking television programming – reflecting the world's rich and diverse arts and entertainment scene as well as education, politics, public affairs, business, and religion – to a national audience. Its landmark innovative series and original productions include the critically-acclaimed performance showcases Soundstage, Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis and David Broza at Masada: The Sunrise Concert; cultural series Grannies on Safari and MEXICO - One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless; the business series CEO Exchange and WordWorld, the first of four children's properties to come from the Ready to Learn Partnership.

Shaunese Teamer
(773) 509-5441

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