Out Of The Valley
The Moomins take a big- screen holiday
The first Moomins adaptation for the big or small screen to be based on one of Tove Jansson’s original comic stories, Moomins On The Riviera takes the loveable cartoon family out of their element. Directed by Xavier Picard, it sees Moomin, Moominpappa and Moominmamma – along with Snorkmaiden and Little My – setting sail for the exclusive seaside resort after an encounter with some pirates.
“We wanted to offer something new and fresh for the people who already know the Moomins,” producer Hanna Hemila tells Red Alert. “And for those who don’t know the Moomins, we wanted to take them out of Moominvalley, because if we did a story that’s set in the Valley then it’s difficult to explain what they are, and how different they are.”
In a stark contrast to computergenerated animated films like Home and Big Hero Six, Moomins On The Riviera is rendered in a simple handdrawn style with a limited monochrome palette that harks back to Jansson’s pencil drawings. “When you look at her comic strips, the individual panels and the whole composition itself are very carefully thought out as she uses very few lines in her designs,” explains Hemila. “So going for 3D animation, for example, would have felt totally wrong. We didn’t look to follow the other styles that are dominant right now; we wanted to create our own style from her original style.”
As the Moomin comics were serialised in London’s Evening News in the 1950s and ’ 60s, the English voice cast was of special significance to Hemila, who must have been especially pleased with Russell Tovey’s performance in the crucial role of Moomin himself. “He has a really nice voice for Moomin because right from the start, one of the issues was ‘ What age is Moomin?’” explains Hemila. “He isn’t a grown- up and he’s not a child either as he has a girlfriend. We decided that he would be somewhere in his teenage years and Russell has a really nice voice for that.” Moomins On The Riviera is released on Friday 22 May.
The Moomins are looking good considering they date from 1945. sci- fact! 120,000 drawings on paper were scanned for the making of Moomins On The Riviera.