A crowdfunding campaign has begun to help develop a “pioneering” Moomin animation.
Finnish production company, Gutsy Animations, launched the Indigogo fundraiser to raise US$200,000 to develop the new show, ‘Moomin’ which will “appeal to the whole family”. Donors can win Moomin merchandise and “once-in-a-lifetime experiences”. The month-long campaign was launched on Wednesday morning (8th March) and by the afternoon supporters had raised more than $30,000 (15% of the total).
The series will be made using a 2D/ 3D hybrid technique, where characters are rendered in 3D in an environment with some 2D illustrative elements. The first visual concept from the animation has been released as a teaser to mark the launch of the crowdfunder, with further concepts promised when the campaign reaches its target. The funds raised will contribute to the visual development of two series of 13 22-minute-long episodes, the first of which will air in spring 2019.
Fans are invited to pledge money in return for various perks which include: personal postcard updates from the production team, a minor voice role in the show, the chance to have artwork incorporated into the animation in the form of a painting in the Moominhouse or an all-inclusive trip to Finland during with a chance to visit the Moominworld theme park, Söderskär's lighthouse and the Moomin Museum in Tampere.
The Moomins first appeared in a series of books by Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson that were published between 1945 and 1970.
The animation will be produced by creative director and executive producer Marika Makaroff; Oscar-winning director Steve Box; BAFTA-winning producer John Woolley and Emmy-winning writing duo Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler.
Makaroff said: “Previous Moomin animations have been intended for young children but our aim is to create a series that is true to the spirit of Tove's tales and appeal to the whole family. We won't shy away from the complexity and depth found in those original stories and the hybrid style of animation will be designed to achieve that. Using state-of-the-art CGI technology combined with more traditional hand-drawn techniques, we'll follow Moomintroll's emotional journey through the mysteries and wonders of Moominvalley.”
Box said: “Tove Jansson’s world of the Moomins is a rare and precious body of work which, like all great art, operates on many levels. My duty is to bring her vision to the screen and create a series of films that are beautiful, atmospheric, funny, thought provoking and poignant but, above all else, remind us of our own humble position in the world and our duty to be tolerant and understanding toward our fellow creatures, be they Moomins, Mymbles or Grokes.”
The animation is being developed with the full support of Moomin Characters, the business set up by Jansson and her brother Lars to manage the Moomin brand. It is run by family members with Sophia Jansson, Lars's daughter and Tove's niece, as chairman of the board and creative director.
Jansson said: “Tove gave the inhabitants of Moominvalley the values of tolerance, love, respect, friendship and bravery – which are needed in today's world more than ever. We’re very excited to have a wonderful team who shares these values bringing Moomin to life in a new way for fans young and old.”
Last year Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB) announced plans to publish a range of gift titles after signing a deal with Moomin Characters.