Tove Jansson’s delightful hippo-like creations, the Moomins, have been bringing joy to the world for the best part of a century now, their childlike wonder and naturalistic naivety being a wonderful respite from the madness of the modern world across the generations. With the nineties tv series a wistful whistling in the back of the minds of millennials, it seemed the perfect time for a return of the fairytale creatures to our screens, and though I will be the first to admit that CGI reimaginings usually make me turn tail and run, the all-star cast and a genuine love of the source material had me more than intrigued.
And that intrigue has led to a most delightful day curled up on the sofa with a very familiar family of old friends.
Starting, as so often seems to be the case with the Moomins, with Moomintroll (and sweetly innocent Taron Egerton) and his family awakening from their hibernation, Moominvalley follows our unlikely heroes as they deal with visits from the insatiable Little Mai and her hundred siblings, joining a traveling theatre, and, of course, awaiting the annual return of the roaming philosopher Snufkin.
It’s all simply adorable, made all the more so by a voice cast that is almost unrivalled in a children’s show. Alongside Egerton we have Rosamund Pike as the world-weary Moominmama, Warwick Davis as the neurotic Sniff, Edvin Endre as a truly ethereal Snufkin, and Richard Ayoade as a very un-scary ghost. This is all topped off by an outstanding performance by Matt Berry as the dim-witted and yet utterly charming Moominpapa, bringing his inimitable style to the character, and quite simply stealing every scene in which he is in.
Visiting Moominvalley is like wrapping yourself in a televisual blanket with the most perfect cup of cocoa. It’s comforting, it’s reassuring, and it’s just bloomin’ lovely.
Or should that be “moomin lovely”?
Dir: Steve Box
Cast: Matt Berry, Warwick Davis, Taron Egerton, Edvin Endre, Rosamund Pike
Prd: John Woolley
Music: Samuli Kosminen and Pekka Kuusisto
Country: United Kingdom
No. of Episodes: 13
Episode run time: 22 minutes
Moominvalley is available now on DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of Dazzler Media