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The Moomins (1977)

This interpretation of Tove Jansson’s Moomins – The Moomins was a stop motion animated children’s television series. It was produced by Se-ma-for and Jupiter Film between 1977 and 1982 (100 episodes) for Polish, Austrian and German television. The series was later sold to other countries including the UK. The British version was adapted by Anne Wood at FilmFair and broadcast in the UK in 1983 on Children’s ITV, and repeated in 1986. It was narrated by British actor Richard Murdoch (The Ghost Train, Whoops Apocalypse).

The opening titles featured a bouncy theme tune consisting of flutes and synthesizers composed by Graeme Miller and Steve Shill, and a popular still of Moomintroll holding a hat.

This series was the third series to be made based on the Moomin books. Two more were subsequently made. It is one of the two best-known Moomin series (along with the Japanese-made anime version Moomin in 1990).

Criticised heavily for being scary and dark in tone, the 1977–1982 stop-motion version is widely believed to be the most faithful TV adaptation of Tove Jansson’s stories, and much closer to her vision. Tove herself had a great deal of involvement during the series’ production and was very happy with it (as revealed in an interview with Anne Wood in Simon Sheridan’s 2007 book The A to Z of Classic Children’s Television). The scripts for each episode were translated from Polish into Finnish and sent to Tove and Lars Jansson, who, if they felt that anything needed to be changed, corrected the script, expanding or rewriting it; afterwards, the scripts were sent back and only then did production of the particular episode begin.

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