The Moomins are an iconic family of 'Moomin trolls' created by Finnish-Swedish writer Tove Jansson and their books, comic strips, animated TV shows, and films have stormed the world and become a cultural phenomenon across the world with their stories drawing inspiration from the Scandinavian landscapes that Jansson immersed herself in. The much-loved creations are one of Finland's most identifiable cultural exports with the original books now published worldwide in more than 50languages.
So popular are the tales of these family of trolls and their friends that a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new animated series of their adventures was hugely successful and is now drawing in some big name stars to the project. Oscar Winner Kate Winslet (of Titanic fame) will voice the character of “spick and span” Mrs. Fillyjonk whilst Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike will be the “wise and caring protector of the Moomin family”, Moominmamma. Other stars include Taron Egerton of The Kingsmen films as Moomintroll whilst Warwick Davis of Star Wars and Harry Potter fame will voice Moomintroll’s adopted younger brother, Sniff. Richard Ayoade is best known for his work on The I.T Crowd as well as appearing in The Watch but will providing his vocal talents for The Ghost whilst his friend and often collaborator Matt Berry from Toast of London will play patriarchal figure Moominpapa. Akiya Henry will voice the part of “style-conscious” Snorkmaiden.
Some may note that all of these stars are British and this is due to the production being, in part, a British one that is working closely with Finnish production company, Gutsy Animations. Two series of the 13 22-minute-long episodes are slated to air in spring 2019 after the studio raised more than $253,000 through crowdfunding earlier this year and it has the support of Moomin Characters, the business set up by Jansson and her brother Lars to manage the Moomin brand.
In an interesting casting decision is that of Man Booker prize shortlisted British author and broadcaster Will Self who has been cast as “philosopher and deep thinker” The Muskrat. An interesting choice for a children's show given that he is best known for fiction that is often satirical, grotesque and fantastical and focuses on subject matter such as mental illness, illegal drugs, and psychiatry. Further cast decisions are to be announced in the coming months but with so many notable names attached it is expected more will now follow.
The new show is being created with a “cutting-edge 2D/3D hybrid technique” where characters are developed in 3D with some 2D illustrative or painterly elements added on. Sophia Jansson, niece of Tove and chairman of the board and director of Moomin Characters said of the project:
“Tove gave the inhabitants of Moominvalley the values of tolerance, love, respect, friendship, and bravery – which are needed in today's world more than ever.
“We’re very excited to have a wonderful cast and team who share these values bringing Moomin to life in a new way for fans young and old.”
The new show currently has the working title of 'Moominvalley' and has many very excited. What are your thoughts on the project and will you be excited to see the Moomins hit the screen once more? Let us know in the comments below.