With an international cast the much-love characters created by the Finnish Animator and writer Tove Jansson the Moomins has been adapted for television and airs on Sky One this Easter in the UK. UK viewers can of course watch it on Demand on Sky TV. Alt was lucky enough to catch the first two episodes of Moominvalley at the recent prestigious BFI & Radio Times Television Festival at London’s Southbank. Creative Director Sophie Jansson and Director Steve Box are aiming to appeal to the whole family, many diehard Moomin fans would be thirty somethings harbouring fond memories of the lovable characters. Both Box and Jansson wanted to keep the authenticity of the Moomins when adapting for the screen.
Oscar winning Director Box told ALT “we tried to be as loyal as possible staying true to the tone and feeling, and the themes of course, and the tolerance and the love. But we also wanted to bring it up to date a little bit but only in terms of the pace and the cinematic quality and the atmosphere. We went with the advances in technology and used CGI, it is the first time you will see the Moomins in 3 dimensions”.
The voice cast includes Rosamund Pike (as Mooninmamma), Kate Winslet (Mrs Fillyjonk) and Kingsman’s Taron Egerton as Moomintroll, Richard Ayoade and Matt Berry as The Ghost and Moominpappa respectively. Alt spoke to Akiya Henry the voice of Snorkmaiden.
AA: Congrats on this role, tell us about Snorkmaiden?
AH: The wonderful thing about her is she is very energetic, very happy, she is very loving. She takes a lot of time in terms of her appearance. But it is about her heart I think there is something about her heart, her loyalty to not only Moomintroll but the whole Moomin family. I think that is what I love about her the most, but I love her style, I love the fact that she loves everything to do with how she looks.
AA: So growing up who was your fave Moomin character?
AH: OMG! my favorite was The Groke, growing up, I don’t know there is always something about the outsider. She always wanted to be everyone’s friend but she was always misunderstood. She was always one of those characters that I wanted to know more about who she was. Yes The Groke, a bit scary but kind of lovely at the same time.
AA: So what is it like doing voice as opposed to on screen acting?
AH ; Well one of the great things is I get to stay in a studio with just me, myself and I. Some of the differences I guess is when you are on set or in rehearsal you get to explore in relation to who the character is, etc. But when you are in the booth, we have a certain amount of time to get the scripts done. The thing about Steve Box is he really takes the time to develop a character so it felt like we had done a lot more character exploration, finding the heart of the character before we set our eyes on the script. Which was very empowering as I felt I had more ownership.
AA: This series of Moominvalley has a family slot and wants to engage with new audiences: why do you think it maintains it’s popularity?
AH: There is something so timeless about the Moomins, the reason for this is the universal messages, love, tolerance, loving and excepting each other differences, humanity, adventure. All of those things resonate to an universal audience. And also living in this beautiful idyllic place that is untouched by the modern world. So it allows you to just escape and I think in everyday life on this earth we are always finding ways to escape. And also that thing about family unity, that does not necessarily mean family in the traditional sense, family with friends, family with strangers that you meet on your journey and adventures. That is why it resonates, that is why it will continue to attract new audiences year after year, decade after decade, century after century.
AA: So what can one expect from the new series?
AH: Well you can expect a lot fun: obviously our amazing writers, Emmy winning and BAFTA nominated Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler, what they have created in terms of the storytelling and the themes they honor Tove Jansson and they also allow themselves to connect with new audiences. But fundamentally what to expect from this is just the beauty that is the Moomins that everybody loves.
Moominvalley aired on Sky 1 and Sky Kids on Friday 19 April 2019 the first of 13 episodes you can catch up on Demand. For everything Moomin go to the official website here