30 March 2017

Creating the ultimate Moomin animation – Emmy-winning writer reveals his secrets

Emmy-winning writing duo, Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby are co-writing The Moomin with head-writer and director Steve Box. We sat down with Nick to ask him all about the writing process…

What is it like to adapt Moomin for television?

Whenever you’re approached with a big, established, beloved property like Moomins it’s obviously very exciting, but it’s also a bit terrifying. It’s exciting because you’re given this amazing world to play around in for a year or two, and terrifying because so many people love the Moomin stories and you don’t want to let them down!

How closely are you sticking to the original stories and comic strips?

We want this adaptation to be the most faithful adaptation of the original works that there has ever been on screen. We’ve spent lots of time revisiting the source material and we’ve also done a lot of research into where the ideas for the Moomin stories came from and why Tove wrote them. We really wanted to understand what was behind their creation.

However, when you’re adapting something for a different format there are always changes to be made. The important thing is to make sure those changes are still in the spirit of Tove’s wonderful work. It will feel new, but at the same time we hope it feels familiar – like the ultimate version of the original stories.

How will you retain the charm of Tove’s original stories?

That’s probably the hardest thing to get right, in a way. We really want to capture the tone and humour of Tove’s stories, and the strangeness of the Moomin world – the oddness and melancholy you see and feel in the books. It’s not just the writing that will do this, of course. It’s a combination of lots of elements and the visual style, directing, music, and of course the voices are all crucial.

Which characters can we expect to see in the first series?

All the characters you would expect to find in the first series – Moomintroll is the hero and star of the show, of course. Moominmamma and Moominpappa will be there, as well as Snufkin, Sniff, Little My and Snorkmaiden. Plus, the Hattifatteners and the Groke – we couldn’t leave them out!

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