For too long, the Nineties and the oft-dubious goods it brought to the cultural table have reigned over the comeback scene, with everything from Pretty Woman dresses to brown lipstick returning to our lives.
But Seventies and Eighties kids with a penchant for Scandi – your time is now. The Moomins are officially back to delight (and occasionally unreasonably terrify) you and all the small children in your lives – with an all-star cast.
The entire hippo-like family will be popping up in a new animated TV series, with Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) voicing the calm, caring and wise Moominmamma, Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh) as the knowledgable Moominpappa and Kingsman: The Secret Service’s Taron Egerton as the curious young Moomintroll.
Kate Winslet is pegged for the strict Mrs Fillyjonk, Richard Ayoade is voicing The Ghost (not The Groke – we checked), author Will Self will play the philosophical Muskrat and Warwick Davies is on for the wallaby-esque Sniff. Akiya Henry will be behind “style-conscious” Snorkmaiden.
Snufkin and Little My have yet to be announced, but fans are encouraged to follow the series’ official Instagram page.
Called Moominvalley after the family’s fictional location and slated to air in 2019, the crowdfunded new outing, from Finnish studio Gutsy Animations and Oscar-winning Wallace & Gromit director Steve Box, is slated for two series of 13 22-minute episodes and will use a combination of 2D and 3D techniques.
The Moomins, characters from Finnish author Tove Jansson’s children’s books, are not exclusively an Eighties phenomenon, of course. The stories’ huge popularity has spanned across decades; nine books were originally published in Finland between 1945 and 1970, getting translated into English in the Sixties and Seventies, while picture books were produced as late as 1993.
While cartoon strips landed in an English newspaper in 1954, a stop-motion TV series first found popularity in the UK in the Eighties, while a cartoon series started on CBBC in 1991.
“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, the author’s niece, in a statement.
“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.”
With an award-winning team of producers and writers on board (Shaun the Sheep producer John Woolley and Peter Rabbit writers Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler), new music and the full backing of the Moomin Characters estate, we have high, high hopes.
There’s no word on which channel or streaming service might pick up the project, but given Moomin Characters says the last animation was broadcast in 124 territories, there’s very little chance it won’t find a UK home.
Hell, we’ve been rocking a Little My topknot for years anyway. Bring. On. The. Moomins.
Images: instagram.com/moominofficial / Moomin Characters™