Heidi is brought by Aunt Dete to Frankfurt after living with her grandfather in the mountains for three years. She had been brought to the countryside to live with her goatherd grandfather simply because there was nowhere else for the orphan to go after Aunt Dete gets a new job that won't allow her to take care of a child. Nobody really thinks that the misanthropic old man could really provide a good home for Heidi. Even though Heidi thrives with her grandfather and with country life, Aunt Dete does not feel that this is a good life for the girl. That is why she finds her a job in the city taking care of 12-year-old Clara Sesemann. Clara is paralyzed, and the girl's father is eager to find a companion who will be his daughter's friend. Even though Heidi is not initially happy with her new arrangement, the two girls become close friends.