Did you know this about the beloved 1990s Moomin TV series?

Aired for the first time in 1990, the hand-drawn Japanese-Finnish-Dutch animation television series Moomin has brought joy to Moomin-minded people around the world for almost 30 years now.

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© Moomin Characters Animation © Dennis Livson & Kindernet Entertainment Ltd

Also known as “Moomins”, “Moominvalley”, “Tales from Moominvalley” and “Adventures from Moominvalley”, the series is the most well-known, most watched and biggest animation series ever made based on Finnish literature. The 104-part series was drawn in 1990-92 by a Japanese production team totalling 600 people, and has been dubbed in numerous languages and broadcast in at least 124 countries.

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© Moomin Characters Animation © Dennis Livson & Kindernet Entertainment Ltd

To the surprise of many, it is not the first TV interpretation of the Moomins nor the first Moomin TV series.

The earliest Moomin animations actually date back almost 60 years: the very first Moomin film to premiere on TV was a German black and white marionette animation filmed in 1959. The first Japanese animations came ten years later – the first one animated partly by the world-famous Hayao Miyazaki – and the first Russian version followed in the 1970s. At the end of the 1970s a Polish puppet/cut-out animation aired in a number of countries. The Moomins is the third anime adaptation based on the original novels and comic strips.

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Without the perseverance of its initiator Dennis Livson the series would never have been produced.

At the 1980s already two TV series alongside several other animated and acted interpretations about the Moomins had already been made, and taking care of their faithfulness to Tove Jansson’s original stories had not been easy. Also, several unauthorized adaptations had found their way to the public. Thus it took many years for the Finnish animation and commercial producer Dennis Livson (on the left in the picture) to convince Tove and her brother Lars Jansson about his idea of a new TV series. Eventually, in 1988 after suggesting the idea several times, Livson managed to win both of them over after they saw his previous produced animated series Alfred J Kwak, and rights for another series were obtained.

The series is the first TV adaptation of the Moomin stories approved by Tove Jansson (apart from some exceptions).

Tove and Lars Jansson were quite actively involved with the screenplay by doing certain changes in scripts to make sure they would be in line with the original idea of the Moomins. She told Finland’s main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in 1991: “Our cooperation with Dennis Livson was excellent. He understood the ultimate idea of Moominvalley. From an artistic point of view the animation is of high quality and the world it portrays is happy. It has preserved the atmosphere and character of the original Moominvalley.” One of her wishes didn’t come true though: Tove would have wanted the beautiful songs composed by Erna Tauro, her long time collaborator, to be used in the series. Also, three episodes of the series were not originally shown in Finland as they didn’t adhere to the original idea of the Moominvalley.

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© Moomin Characters Animation © Dennis Livson & Kindernet Entertainment Ltd

Even though there’s an engaged and extensive Moomin fanbase in America, the series has never aired in the United States.

…Except for Hawaii, where the series has been called The Tales of Moominvalley and aired on television station K-5.

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© Moomin Characters, Animation © Dennis Livson & Kindernet Entertainment Ltd

Surprise!

The new official Moomin YouTube channel is LIVE! Subscribe to the channel to discover exclusive Moomin content. You will find everything from episodes of the 90s Moomin animation to behind-the-scenes materials from the new Moominvalley animation.
Check it out on http://moom.in/youtube.