A website devoted to the British television series
In the heart of the Moominvalley live the Moomin family: Moomintroll, Moominmamma and Moominpappa. Accompanied by their friends Snuffkin, Sniff, the Snork Maiden, the Hemulen and Little My, these cute, hippopotamus-like creatures often find themselves caught up in a series of strange and wonderful adventures…
The Moomins first appeared in 1945, in a series of children’s books written by Finnish author Tove Jansson. Then, in 1959, six episodes of a full-puppet version were produced in Germany for ‘Augsberger Puppenkiste’, a German puppet show; a further six were produced in 1960, and the original six were re-recorded again in 1961.
A Japanese animated cartoon was produced in 1972, but Jansson was so upset by the liberties taken with the original material in the first twenty-six episodes (including the addition of guns, booze and swearing!) that she wouldn‘t allow them to be licensed for overseas sales; however the remaining episodes were much closer to the original and were approved for sale.
The fondly remembered fuzzy-felt version followed next, made as a German/Polish co-production between 1977 and 1982. It was originally shown on German television as a seventy-eight-part series comprised of 8-9 minute episodes, and was later edited down to make twenty-six half-hours. For broadcast on cITV in the UK, the original seventy-eight shows were cut into a hundred episodes of 4–5 minutes duration each, as at the time some material from the German version was deemed to be too strong for children’s viewing. The narration for the UK edit was provided by Richard Murdoch.
In the early 1990s, a further Japanese cartoon was produced, simply entitled ‘Moomin’ and consisting of one-hundred-and-four episodes, but it contained none of the charm of the late ‘70s / early ‘80s version. The BBC bought the first fifty-two episodes, translated them into English (a process that I was involved in when I worked for the BBC’s Children’s Acquisitions Department!), and then showed them on CBBC.
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