Eye For Film >> Movies >> Moomins On The Riviera (2014) Film Review
Moomins On The Riviera
Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
Just after the Second World War, Finnish artist Tove Jansson wrote a "naive and innocent" children's story about a family of bohemian trolls. The book was a flop, but Jansson kept writing her whimsical tales, using her own family of eccentric artists as inspiration for the "Moomins".
Now Finland’s biggest pop culture export is on the big screen thanks to French animator Xavier Picard who has taken a slight narrative thread and woven it in to an agreeable fantasy for all true romantics, and, of course, Moomins disciples in more than 40 countries.
He has been respectful of the original whose creator Jansson, a lesbian, used her outsider status to deal with philosophical issues which have universal resonance. The world of the Moomins appears idyllic, devoid of greed and mostly self-sufficient. They are invested with a great sense of adventure, which leads them to the so-called glamour of the south of France. Naturally, in this materialistic world where manufactured looks and ill-gotten gains speak volumes, they appear like fish out of water.
No wonder they yearn for the idyllic hills and valleys of home, rather than the baking high bright sun of the Riviera. Because they are so clearly different they are treated like mini-Royalty by the denizens of the Côte d’Azur.
The hand-coloured drawings are exquisite, and who could fail to warm to the charms of these loveable nutters who want all the right things for the world, including equality and freedom to be who we want to be?
There are no mixed messages from the Moomins - it is clear and simple just like Xavier Picard’s film, whose English-language cast is headed by Russell Tovey as the voice of Moomin. Restless youngsters in thrall to computer games may find the action lacking, but their parents or guardians should have the time of their lives. Long live the Moomins.Reviewed on: 20 Feb 2015
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