Out Of The Val­ley

The Moomins take a big- screen hol­i­day

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

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.

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