I’ve got to be honest, I’m not normally that enthusiastic about television programmes shifting into a cinematic landscape, but The Moomins was a staple-mark of my childhood, and the childhoods of many – those lovable, odd creatures. Now, they’re heading to the cinema, and have premièred at Cannes.
The surrealist animation is definitely out in force in its film adaptation; with a soundtrack by Bjork and voices straight out of a recent musical film I won’t mention due to the sheer rage it so inherently carries along with it (Mamma Mia!), it seems well on track to bring the spooky, pseudo-stoned hippo-creatures into a new generation of youth.
That being said, I can’t help but wonder what the young children of today’s world are going to think. The Moomins were bizarre, and although the narratives they played out were simplistic and often filled with humour, there was always a surrealist undercurrent, a modernist vibe that sought to confuse and baffle. Well, I don’t know about you, but I was pretty confused most of the time. This brand of humour may pass over the heads of children currently being raised on Dora the Explorer and High School Musical, programmes designed to be simple, easy to understand and with endless join-in sequences. I can’t see any children I know perfecting a Moomin cheery deadpan catchphrase, can you?
Still, it’ll be a treat for the adults, and especially the eyeballs. Gone are the old stop motion visuals (why bother, really, nowadays, unless you’re Tim Burton) and in come three-dimensional, high-def graphics that look like they’ll appeal to all those who were partially babysat by Pixar. It’ll also be interesting to see a resurgence of merchandise; the Telegraph reports that eleven new books are being made, including (or in addition) a Moomin cookbook, a seventy-eight part HDTV series…
Prepare yourselves, parents. The Finnish are taking over your child’s life this autumn. That being said, I don’t think there’s any danger of them wanting the soundtrack. There’s silly music for children, silly music for babies, and then there’s Bjork.