Racheltjie de Beer

TV film, 1982

Animated version of the famous Afrikaans story about the heroic Racheltjie de Beer, who sacrificed her own life to save her little brother from the cold. Though the story has been told as a true story for many years, many doubt that Rachel de Beer really existed. Nevertheless, she remains an icon in Afrikaans literature. This adaptation was the first full-length animated TV film in South Africa.

Production summary: 

Premiere date:

16 December 1982






Children and youth; Animation

Production company:

Annie Mation Studios


Gretchen Wilsenach

Cast and Crew: 

Voice artistCharacter

Dirk Kotze

Narrator; Boesman

Tess van Staden

Racheltjie de Beer

Amanda Strydom

Jamie de Beer

Lochner de Kock

Mr de Beer

Susanne Beyers

Mrs de Beer


The story is set in the Free State in the summer of 1843. A devastating drought encourages a number of families to go off to find greener pastures, including the De Beers. Shortly after the De Beer family arrives in the Drakensberg, the winter snowstorms start. The two children, Rachel and Jamie, are worried about their pet lamb have gone missing and beg their parents to allow them to search for Frikkie before he dies of the cold. Despite their concerns, their parents agree, provided that the children are back home before sunset. But at the end of the day there’s no sign of the children and a search party sets out. After a long search, the parents find their children – but only Jamie is still alive. Worried that her little brother would die of the cold, Racheltjie took off her own clothes and told Jamie to cover up and hide in a hollowed-out anthill while she guards the entrance.