With an Alicia Vikander-voiced animated feature also on the way, it’s boom time in Moomin valley.
An all-star cast has been assembled for the upcoming animated TV series centered on the Moomins, the central characters in a series of hugely popular Scandinavian children’s books,
Rosamund Pike, Taron Egerton, Kate Winslet, Warwick Davis, Matt Berry, Richard Ayoade, Will Self and Akiya Henry will lend their voices to Moominvalley, which is being produced by Finnish studio Gutsy Animations. Steve Box, formerly of Aardman and an Oscar winner for co-directing Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit with Nick Park, will helm.
The Moomins, created by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson and first published in 1945 and now one of Finland’s biggest cultural exports, are a family of white, almost hippopotamus-shaped fairy tale creatures who have adventures in the fictitious Moominvalley. Nine books were released in the original series, and there have been numerous TV and film adaptations in a number of languages.
At Cannes this year, Alicia Vikander was announced as the lead of the voice cast for an upcoming feature-length stop-motion animated pic.
The latest small-screen adaptation — currently slated for two seasons of thirteen 22-minute episodes and set to air in spring 2019 — will have Egerton, soon to be seen reprising his role of Eggsy in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, voicing Moomintroll, the young, curious boy of the Moomin family. Pike will voice the wise, caring protector Moominmamma, with Berry as Moominpapa.
‘We are thrilled with this stellar cast, who have been carefully chosen to inhabit Tove Jansson’s much-loved characters,” said Gutsy Animations creative director and executive producer Marika Makaroff. “They will speak to audiences young and old, and for the family drama that we are creating, which doesn’t shy away from the depth and complexities of Jansson’s original work, they couldn’t be a more talented or suitable lineup.”
Moominvalley, which is being made using a 2D/3D hybrid technique, is being produced by BAFTA-winning producer John Woolley (Shaun the Sheep) and Emmy-winning writing duo Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler (Peter Rabbit). Classical violinist Pekka Kuusisto and percussionist Samuli Kosminen, both from Finland, are creating the music for the series. Kuusisto’s father composed with Jansson in the 1970s and wrote the Finnish National Opera’s Moomin Opera in 1974.
The animated series is being developed in association with Yle Drama and with the full support of Moomin Characters, the business set up by Jansson and her brother Lars Jansson to manage the Moomin brand. To this day, Moomin Characters is run by family members, with Sophia Jansson, Lars Jansson’s daughter and Tove’s niece, as chairman of the board and creative director
“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,” said Sophia Jansson. “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.”