The Moomins (TV series)

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The Moomins
The Moomins (TV series).jpg
Written by Maria Kossakowska
Lucjan Dębiński
Country of origin Poland
No. of episodes 100
Production
Producer(s) Se-ma-for
Broadcast
Original run 1977 – 1982

The Moomins (Polish: Opowiadania Muminków, German: Die Mumins) is a stop motion animated children's television series based on the Tove Jansson's Moomin series of books which was produced by Se-ma-for and Jupiter Film between 1977 and 1982 for Polish, Austrian and German television. The series was later sold to other countries including the UK. The British version was adapted by Anne Wood at FilmFair and broadcast in the UK in 1983 on Children's ITV, and repeated in 1986. It was narrated by British actor Richard Murdoch.

This series was the third series to be made based on the Moomin books. Two more were subsequently made. It is one of the two best-known Moomin series (along with the Japanese-made anime version Moomin (1990)). The 1977–1982 stop-motion version has been criticised for being scary in places and rather dark in tone for the young audience at which it was aimed. It is, in contrast to the 1990s series, widely believed to be the most faithful TV adaptation of Tove Jansson's stories, and much closer to her vision. Tove herself had a great deal of involvement during the series' production and was very happy with it (as revealed in an interview with Anne Wood in Simon Sheridan's 2007 book The A to Z of Classic Children's Television). The scripts for each episode were translated from Polish into Finnish and sent to Tove and Lars Jansson, who, if they felt that anything needed to be changed, corrected the script, expanding or rewriting it; afterwards, the scripts were sent back and only then did production of the particular episode begin.

The opening titles featured a bouncy theme tune consisting of flutes and synthesizers composed by Graeme Miller and Steve Shill, and a popular still of Moomintroll holding a hat.

Episode list[edit]

The UK adaptation consisted of 100 five minute episodes.

First broadcast Mondays to Fridays at 4:15pm, January to March 1983 on ITV as part of its "Watch IT!" children's programming strand:

Series one[edit]

  • 1 Hobgoblin's Hat
  • 2 Magic Clouds
  • 3 King of California
  • 4 The Ant Lion
  • 5 Canaries & Raspberry Juice
  • 6 The Indoor Jungle
  • 7 Thingumy and Bob
  • 8 The Trial of the Groke
  • 9 Snufkin's Leaving
  • 10 The Ruby
  • 11 The Great Search
  • 12 The Party
  • 13 Hobgoblin Arrives At the Party
  • 14 The Voyage
  • 15 Attack of the Hattifatteners
  • 16 The Barometer
  • 17 Island Treasures
  • 18 Return to Moominvalley
  • 19 Special Wishes
  • 20 Invisible Child
  • 21 The Cure
  • 22 Christmas
  • 23 Winter
  • 24 Little My Goes Skating
  • 25 Moomintroll and Little My
  • 26 The Lady of the Cold
  • 27 Ancestor
  • 28 Healthy Hemulen
  • 29 Sorry-oo
  • 30 Sorry-oo and the Wolves
  • 31 The Winter Bonfire
  • 32 Return of the Sun
  • 33 The Great Thaw
  • 34 The Fillyjonk
  • 35 Catastrophe
  • 36 Moomintroll & the Dragon
  • 37 Moomintroll's Pet
  • 38 Memoirs
  • 39 The Orphan
  • 40 Hodgkins & the Sailor
  • 41 Edward the Booble
  • 42 Moomintroll to the Rescue
  • 43 The Storm
  • 44 The King
  • 45 Island Ghost
  • 46 Flying Boat
  • 47 The Muddler's Marriage
  • 48 Love Story
  • 49 The Volcano
  • 50 The Island

Series two[edit]

  • 51 The Haunted Theatre
  • 52 Misabel's Hairdo
  • 53 Emma the Theatre Rat
  • 54 A Night in the Trees
  • 55 Astonished Awakening
  • 56 The Parkkeeper's Surprise
  • 57 The Fillyjonk
  • 58 Creepy Magic
  • 59 The Naughty Woodies
  • 60 Snufkin's Invitation
  • 61 In Jail
  • 62 Tea with the Hemulen's Niece
  • 63 Dress Rehearsal
  • 64 The Performance
  • 65 The Confrontation
  • 66 The Gadfly
  • 67 The Cure
  • 68 The Cocktail Party
  • 69 Cedric
  • 70 Mr. Brisk
  • 71 The Jungle
  • 72 The Tigers
  • 73 The Hunters
  • 74 The Funfair
  • 75 The Hemulen Aunt
  • 76 The Orphan
  • 77 The Vampire
  • 78 The Vampire Escapes
  • 79 The Friendly Vampire
  • 80 The Nice Bat
  • 81 Mamma's Island
  • 82 Mamma's Painting
  • 83 The Terrible Island Storm
  • 84 The Disappearing Moomins
  • 85 The Little Martian
  • 86 The Martian Goes Home
  • 87 The Discoveries
  • 88 The Muskrat's Prediction
  • 89 The Journey
  • 90 The Underground Waterfall
  • 91 The Giant Eagle
  • 92 The Observatory
  • 93 The Rockfall
  • 94 Moomintroll to the Rescue
  • 95 The Village Shop
  • 96 The Dance
  • 97 The Dead Sea
  • 98 Locust Attack
  • 99 The Tornado
  • 100 The Comet

The order above is the correct broadcast order, for when the episodes were first shown on UK television in 1983 (taken from the original script list). The episode order in the recent DVD boxset was changed, so that the English episodes were intended to match the German broadcast order (but they were in fact different). In the UK, the series ended with the Comet in Moominland story. All episodes were shown in 1983, and it was repeated in 1986. There were only two UK broadcasts of the series.

Impact and critical reaction[edit]

In 2008 the series was listed at number 25 in a list of top 50 children's TV by The Times.[1] Excerpts from the series have been shown at film festivals in the UK[2] and Japan.

DVD release[edit]

A Region 2 DVD boxset was released in 2004,[3] in both English and German editions (both versions manufactured in Austria).

Single DVD releases are also available, which contain English and German episodes. The German episodes have English subtitles and the English episodes have German subtitles.

References[edit]

  • Simon Sheridan The A to Z of Classic Children's Television (Reynolds & Hearn books, 2004, reprinted 2007) ISBN 1-903111-27-7. Contains a long chapter on the making of the TV series, a rare photo of Tove Jansson and an interview with UK series producer Anne Wood.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 50 Children's TV". The Times. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  2. ^ "Tales from Moominvalley Northern Lights Film Festival". Northern Lights Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  3. ^ "The Moomins [DVD box set]: Amazon.co.uk: Richard Murdoch, The Moomins: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-29. 

External links[edit]