Little Riders, The (television) A Disney Channel Premiere Film; airing first on March 24, 1996. Trapped in Holland during World War II, a young American girl, Joanne Hunter, lives with her Dutch grandparents. Together they must endure–and resist–the Nazi occupation of their village. When Joanne boldly tries to protect the Little Riders, the much beloved symbol of the town, she suddenly finds herself face-to-face with the enemy. Directed by Kevin Connor. Stars Noley Thornton (Joanne Hunter), Rosemary Harris (Juliana Roden), Paul Scofield (Pieter Roden), Malcolm McDowell (Captain Kessel), Benedict Blythe (Lt. Braun). Based on the book by Margaretha Shemin. The film was shot entirely on location in the Netherlands.