Show of the Week: Moominvalley

Moominvalley (Source: Gutsy Animations)

Finnish author Tove Jansson’s beloved Moomins live on in this CGI-animated family series inspired by the tales of the friendly troll family and their friends.

It’s been almost 80 years since the characters were first presented to the world and Katherine Senior, head of international sales at Gutsy Animations, says that their enduring appeal is down to the “warm and uplifting” natures of those original stories that deal with themes of peace, love, kindness, community, family and friendship, and still resonate strongly with audiences.

Moominvalley, which has three completed seasons and a fourth on the way, “lovingly reimagines” this world, giving it a “fresh visual identity”, says Senior.

“It brings the characters into 3D for the first time, with a combination of painterly effects and high-quality CGI. Additionally, we used the Nordic light to produce a natural yet atmospheric look.”

She reveals: “The series were developed and originated over an 18-month period by Marika Makaroff, creative director and founder of Gutsy Animations.

“Marika put together an amazing team over the four series, with truly the best in the business. The series draws heavily on the values and essence of the original stories, but from the outset, it was developed and created as a family drama, aimed at a wider audience that can work in a primetime slot.”

The series was originally commissioned by YLE and Sky, with the first season becoming the most watched TV show in Finland in 2019, says Senior, with a strong performance after the launches on Sky and Viaplay too.

The first season of the show is mostly focused on youngster Moomintroll and deals with stories ranging from “family pressure, to facing nightmarish creature The Groke,” says Senior.

“In the second series, Moomintroll is growing up and we see him grapple with the challenges of finding his independence, with Moominmamma and Moominpappa also having to navigate this change.

“The overarching theme of the third season is community, and we get to see more of the eclectic creatures that make up Moominvalley. And our upcoming fourth series’ principal theme is utopia, delving into the importance of sustainability and taking care of the world around us.”

Delphine Dumont, chief commercial officer at Banijay Kids & Family, says that the show has the clear ability to cut through and attract a wide family demographic, which is “hugely appealing to international buyers” and made Moominvalley “the perfect addition to our diverse portfolio.”

“The love for Moominvalley is borderless,” adds Dumont, who says that the enduring love and nostalgia for Jansson’s creations makes it a “powerful brand that has instant recognition and worldwide appeal.

“The colourful characters have been brought to life by a stellar cast of talent including Rosamund Pike, Warwick Davis, and Jennifer Saunders. Over the course of four series, the lovingly crafted reimagination of this timeless classic takes the whole family on a journey filled with free spirited adventures.”

Producer: Gutsy Animations
Distributor: Banijay Kids & Family Distribution
Broadcasters: Sky (UK & Eire), YLE (Finland), Viaplay (Nordics)
Logline: Family CGI animation with strong themes and uplifting, nostalgic stories, following the continuing adventures of Tove Jansson’s beloved Moomins