I had never heard of The Moomins by Tove Jansson before, so I went to the new movie screening: Moomins on the Rivera with an open mind but it was clear within the first five minutes that the Moomins was not your typical children / family film.
In Moomins on the Rivera, the Moomins, Snorkmaiden and Little My set sail for the French Riviera in search of adventures. After a perilous journey, they reach their dream destination where Snorkmaiden is dazzled by the attentions of a playboy leaving Moomin consumed by jealousy. When Moominpappa befriends an aristocrat and adopts the name "de Moomin", an exasperated Moominmamma retreats to the calm of their trusty old boat, to wait for her family to come to their senses and to remember their motto: “Live in peace, plant potatoes and dream.”
We were all captivated. Victoria, my four year old, sincerely enjoyed the but she could not put in clear words why she enjoyed the film. I was not sure that she understood what she saw. Some of the topics were certainly for a more matured audience such as Moomin's choice to duel to the death for the affections of Snorkmaiden. At the end, I remained bewildered although, I loved elements of the movie.
As I was completely new to the Moomins and their history and I did not know what to think. The whole idea of the Moomins seems farfetched, too good to be true, bizarre. There were some dark elements for example Little My seems a bit disturbing. I don’t fully understand the point of her but she seemed necessary to balance out the Moomins.
Surprisingly, Victoria enjoyed the movie which made me very happy. I liked the carefree, happy life of the Moomins, the optimism. The lack of desire for money and riches but the wish to be with friends and family, living a good fun life. The Moomins on their own are great. They look soft and loveable but some of the other characters can be a bit scary.
Fans of the Moomins will be very pleased with Moomins on the Riviera. As for me, I am undecided. What I know for sure is that I was very happy to see the movie and the positive effects it had on my lovely Victoria. This jury is still out and must see the movie again to be fair. In the meantime, I give it three stars, because Victoria truly enjoyed the film.
PWT rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Moomins on the Riviera opens in cinemas nationwide through Vertigo Films from today.
Directed by Xavier Picard and produced by Hanna Hemilä, Moomins on the Riviera was created in a unique hand-drawn animation technique inspired by and based on Tove Jansson’s original comic strips.
In the UK version, Moomin is voiced by Russell Tovey. Moominpappa and Moominmamma are played by Nathaniel Parker and Tracy Ann Oberman play respectively. Stephanie Winiecki plays Snorkmaiden and Little My is played by Ruth Gibson.