The Moomins (TV series)

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The Moomins
Written byMaria Kossakowska
Lucjan Dębiński
Music byAndrzej Rokicki
Country of originPolish People's Republic, Austria, West Germany
No. of episodes78 (Poland) / 100 (UK)
Running time10 minutes (Poland) / 5 minutes (UK)
Original release
NetworkITV[2][3] (UK)
Release19 November 1978 (19 November 1978) –
1982 (1982)

The Moomins (Polish: Opowiadania Muminków, lit.'Moomins' Short Stories', 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.[4] The original broadcast in Poland premiered on November 19, 1978.[5] The series was later sold to other countries including the UK. The British version was adapted by Anne Wood at FilmFair for ITV Central and broadcast in the UK. Series 1 was first shown on Monday 24 January 1983 at 4:15 pm and series 2 on Monday 7 January 1985 at 4.15pm on Children's ITV, and series 2 was repeated in 1986. The series was last repeated in its entirety in 1988. It was narrated by British actor Richard Murdoch.[6]

This series was the third series to be made based on the Moomin books.[7] 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 Swedish 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.

In 2010, an HD version of the series was released. It was later followed by a new US-produced English dub in 2017.


The series had an orchestral score, composed by Andrzej Rokicki, with a whimsical opening theme, resembling the melody of a songbird. The German and Austrian dub retained most of the score, and added themes written by Eugen Illin, who also composed a different opening theme. For the shortened and re-edited UK release, a new score was composed by Graeme Miller and Steve Shill. Its opening titles featured a bouncy theme tune consisting of flutes and synthesizers, played against a popular still of Moomintroll holding a hat.

Episode list[edit]

The original Polish series consisted of 78 ten-minute episodes, narrated initially by Stanisław Wyszyński, and subsequently by Stanisław Kwaśniak. The German and Austrian dub retained the full length of the original series, with the narration provided by Hans Clarin. The UK adaptation was shortened and re-edited into 100 five-minute episodes, narrated by Richard Murdoch.

Series 1 of the UK release consisted of 50 episodes, and was first broadcast Mondays to Fridays at 4:15 pm, 24 January to 6 April 1983 on Children's ITV. Series 2 consisting of another 50 episodes first aired Monday to Fridays at 4:15 pm, 7 January to 15 March 1985 on Children's ITV.

Series one[edit]

UK Broadcast Date Title Novel Inspiration
24.01.1983 Hobgoblin's Hat Finn Family Moomintroll
25.01.1983 Magic Clouds Finn Family Moomintroll
26.01.1983 King of California Finn Family Moomintroll
27.01.1983 The Ant Lion Finn Family Moomintroll
28.01.1983 Canaries & Raspberry Juice Finn Family Moomintroll
31.01.1983 The Indoor Jungle Finn Family Moomintroll
01.02.1983 Thingumy and Bob Finn Family Moomintroll
02.02.1983 The Trial of the Groke Finn Family Moomintroll
03.02.1983 Snufkin's Leaving Finn Family Moomintroll
04.02.1983 The Ruby Finn Family Moomintroll
07.02.1983 The Great Search Finn Family Moomintroll
08.02.1983 The Party Finn Family Moomintroll
09.02.1983 Hobgoblin Arrives At the Party Finn Family Moomintroll
10.02.1983 Special Wishes Finn Family Moomintroll
11.02.1983 The Voyage Finn Family Moomintroll
14.02.1983 Attack of the Hattifatteners Finn Family Moomintroll
15.02.1983 The Barometer Finn Family Moomintroll
16.02.1983 Island Treasures Finn Family Moomintroll
17.02.1983 Return to Moominvalley Finn Family Moomintroll
18.02.1983 Invisible Child Tales from Moominvalley
21.02.1983 The Cure Tales from Moominvalley
22.02.1983 Christmas Tales from Moominvalley
23.02.1983 Winter Moominland Midwinter
24.02.1983 Little My Goes Skating Moominland Midwinter
25.02.1983 Moomintroll and Little My Moominland Midwinter
28.02.1983 The Lady of the Cold Moominland Midwinter
01.03.1983 Ancestor Moominland Midwinter
02.03.1983 Healthy Hemulen Moominland Midwinter
03.03.1983 Sorry-oo Moominland Midwinter
04.03.1983 Sorry-oo and the Wolves Moominland Midwinter
07.03.1983 The Winter Bonfire Moominland Midwinter
08.03.1983 Return of the Sun Moominland Midwinter
09.03.1983 The Great Thaw Moominland Midwinter
10.03.1983 The Fillyjonk Tales from Moominvalley
11.03.1983 Catastrophe Tales from Moominvalley
14.03.1983 Moomintroll & the Dragon Tales from Moominvalley
16.03.1983 Moomintroll's Pet Tales from Moominvalley
17.03.1983 Memoirs Memoir's of Moominpappa
18.03.1983 The Orphan Memoir's of Moominpappa
21.03.1983 Hodgkins & the Sailor Memoir's of Moominpappa
22.03.1983 Edward the Booble Memoir's of Moominpappa
23.03.1983 Moomintroll to the Rescue Memoir's of Moominpappa
24.03.1983 The Storm Memoir's of Moominpappa
25.03.1983 The King Memoir's of Moominpappa
28.03.1983 Island Ghost Memoir's of Moominpappa
29.03.1983 Flying Boat Memoir's of Moominpappa
30.03.1983 The Muddler's Marriage Memoir's of Moominpappa
31.03.1983 Love Story Memoir's of Moominpappa
05.04.1983 The Volcano Moominsummer Madness
06.04.1983 The Island Moominsummer Madness

Series two[edit]

UK Broadcast Date Title Novel Inspiration
07.01.1985 The Haunted Theatre Moominsummer Madness
08.01.1985 Misabel's Hairdo Moominsummer Madness
09.01.1985 Emma the Theatre Rat Moominsummer Madness
10.01.1985 A Night in the Trees Moominsummer Madness
11.01.1985 Astonished Awakening Moominsummer Madness
14.01.1985 The Parkkeeper's Surprise Moominsummer Madness
15.01.1985 The Fillyjonk Moominsummer Madness
16.01.1985 Creepy Magic Moominsummer Madness
17.01.1985 The Naughty Woodies Moominsummer Madness
18.01.1985 Snufkin's Invitation Moominsummer Madness
21.01.1985 In Jail Moominsummer Madness
22.01.1985 Tea with the Hemulen's Niece Moominsummer Madness
23.01.1985 Dress Rehearsal Moominsummer Madness
24.01.1985 The Performance Moominsummer Madness
25.01.1985 The Confrontation Moominsummer Madness
28.01.1985 The Gadfly Moomin & the Golden Tail, Moomin comic strips
29.01.1985 The Cure Moomin & the Golden Tail, Moomin comic strips
30.01.1985 The Cocktail Party Moomin & the Golden Tail, Moomin comic strips
31.01.1985 Cedric Tales from Moominvalley
01.02.1985 Mr. Brisk Moomins Winter Follies, Moomin comic strips
04.02.1985 The Jungle Moominvalley turns Jungle, Moomin comic strips
05.02.1985 The Tigers Moominvalley turns Jungle, Moomin comic strips
06.02.1985 The Hunters Moominvalley turns Jungle, Moomin comic strips
07.02.1985 The Funfair Tales from Moominvalley
08.02.1985 The Hemulen Aunt Tales from Moominvalley
11.02.1985 The Orphan '?'
12.02.1985 The Vampire Moomin & the Vampire, Moomin comic strips
13.02.1985 The Vampire Escapes Moomin & the Vampire, Moomin comic strips
14.02.1985 The Friendly Vampire Moomin & the Vampire, Moomin comic strips
15.02.1985 The Nice Bat Moomin & the Vampire, Moomin comic strips
18.02.1985 Mamma's Island Moominpappa at Sea
19.02.1985 Mamma's Painting Moominpappa at Sea
20.02.1985 The Terrible Island Storm Moominpappa at Sea
21.02.1985 The Disappearing Moomins Moomin & the Martians, Moomin comic strips
22.02.1985 The Little Martian Moomin & the Martians, Moomin comic strips
25.02.1985 The Martian Goes Home Moomin & the Martians, Moomin comic strips
26.02.1985 The Discoveries Comet in Moominland
27.02.1985 The Muskrat's Prediction Comet in Moominland
28.02.1985 The Journey Comet in Moominland
01.03.1985 The Underground Waterfall Comet in Moominland
04.03.1985 The Giant Eagle Comet in Moominland
05.03.1985 The Observatory Comet in Moominland
06.03.1985 The Rockfall Comet in Moominland
07.03.1985 Moomintroll to the Rescue Comet in Moominland
08.03.1985 The Village Shop Comet in Moominland
11.03.1985 The Dance Comet in Moominland
12.03.1985 The Dead Sea Comet in Moominland
13.03.1985 Locust Attack Comet in Moominland
14.03.1985 The Tornado Comet in Moominland
15.03.1985 The Comet Comet in Moominland

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. Series 1 was shown in 1983 and series 2 in 1985. Series 2 was repeated in 1986. The series was also repeated in its entirety in 1988. (Confirmed by the sleeve notes from Finders Keepers Moomin soundtrack release 2016).

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.[8][failed verification] Excerpts from the series have been shown at film festivals in the UK[9] and Japan.

Home release[edit]

A Region 2 DVD boxset was released in 2004,[10] 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.

The complete series in its original Polish version, which was longer than the UK re-edit and had a different musical score, was released in Poland in 2009, as a 5-DVD Region 2 box set.



  • 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.


  1. ^ "Television for children: problems of national specificity and globalisation" (PDF).
  2. ^ Thomas, Liz. "New kid on the box - ITV's new children's channel CiTV | Features". The Stage. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Children's TV: CITV - Winning custody of the children. | News | Broadcast". 3 February 2003. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  4. ^ Crump, William D. (2019). Happy Holidays—Animated! A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Cartoons on Television and Film. McFarland & Co. p. 203. ISBN 9781476672939.
  5. ^ "Muminki kończą 40 lat. Serial, który kochały miliony" [Moomin turns 40. A series loved by millions]. Gazeta Wyborcza (Newspaper). Poland. 19 listopada 1978 roku w Telewizji Polskiej zadebiutował pierwszy odcinek kultowego już dziś serialu animowanego, opartego na książkach Tove Jansson.
  6. ^ Phil De Semlyen; Ali Plumb; Helen O'hara; James Dyer (9 October 2015). "Classic Kids' TV Shows That Still Rock Our World, Feature | Movies - Empire". Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  8. ^ "The top 50 children's TV shows". The Times. Archived from the original on 30 August 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2012.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ "Tales from Moominvalley Northern Lights Film Festival". Northern Lights Film Festival. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  10. ^ "The Moomins [DVD box set]: Richard Murdoch, The Moomins: Film & TV". 30 October 2006. Retrieved 29 October 2012.

External links[edit]