Moomins on the Riviera

Moomins on the Riviera

Moomins

Created by Finnish writer/illustrator Tove Jansson in the late 1940s. The Moomins are a family of eccentric, oddly-shaped creatures slightly resembling Hippopotamuses that inhabit Moominvalley along with Snufkin, Snork Maiden, My Little and the Hattifatteners, among others. Initially published as a series of books that lead to a regular comic strip, TV show and eventually films that have been translated into various languages and gained a worldwide following.

In this recent Finnish-French animated production, which is the first to be based directly on one of the original comic strips, the Moomin family – with Little My and Snork Maiden tagging along – travel to the south of France where they are mistaken for a family of aristocrats and put up in a swanky hotel alongside members of French high society where their charmingly unsophisticated ways are put to the test in a variety of ways.

I’ve long been intrigued by the cult of Moomin but having never actually owned an original book/(I have read one compilation comic)/episode I have little to compare this recent reworking with. Fans seem to be divided 50/50 on it either being a faithful continuation of the Jansson’s legacy or a hollow misrepresentation of it.

Visually speaking it certainly appears to represent the colour palette and animation style of the Moomin world. The deliberately restrained 2D animation is a nice touch and far more suited and appealing than bad CGI. The storyline wanders a bit which also caused my attention to and some of the voice-acting was so awkward at times it made me wish there was a subtitled option but overall it still functions as a good introduction to the fascinating universe of Moomin.

Extras:

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Sticker sheet

Not much in the way of extras apart from a theatrical trailer and some stickers. Would have been good to see  a documentary about the history of the Moomins and how this film came about. Tove Jansson first drew a Moomin on a toilet wall after an argument with her brothers about philosophy, many of the Moomins are based on her family – interesting stuff! Even a subtitled version would have been a good inclusion.  Perhaps the lack of extras has been taken into consideration for the price as it’s only $14.99 RRP. Still a great release and a must own for fans of the Moomins.

Available on R4 DVD from Madman Entertainment.

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