The Moomins (TV series)

The Moomins (TV series)
The Moomins
Moomin kuva.JPG
Format Children's television series
Written by Maria Kossakowska
Lucjan Dębiński
Country of origin Poland
No. of episodes 78
Producer(s) Se-ma-for
Original run 1977 – 1982

The Moomins (Polish: Opowiadania Muminków, German: Die Mumins) is a stop motion animated children's television series based on the Tove Jansson's Moomin series of books which was originally produced by Se-ma-for and Jupiter Film between the years 1977–1982, originally for Polish, Austrian and German television. The series was later on sold to other countries including the UK. The British version was adapted by Anne Wood at FilmFair and first broadcast in the UK in 1983 on CITV and was repeated until 1989, and was narrated by British actor Richard Murdoch.

This series was often referred to as the fuzzy felt Moomins, due to the appearance of the characters. It was the third series to be made based on the Moomin books, with two more made since then. Nonetheless, it is one of the two best known Moomin series, along with Moomin (1990). This version has at times been criticised for being scary in places and rather dark in tone for the young audience at which it was aimed. It is, in contrast to the 1990s series, widely believed to be by far 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 reportedly 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, would correct the script, expand or rewrite its parts; afterwards, the scripts were sent back and only then would production of the particular episode begin.

The opening titles featured a bouncy theme tune consisting of flutes and synthesizers and a popular still of Moomintroll holding a hat.


Episode list

The UK adaptation consisted of 100 five minute episodes.

Series one

First broadcast Mondays to Fridays, January to March 1983 on ITV as part of its "Watch IT!" children's programming strand:

  • 1 Hobgoblin's Hat
  • 2 Magic Clouds
  • 3 King of California
  • 4 The Ant Lion
  • 5 Canaries & Raspberry Juice
  • 6 The Indoor Jungle
  • 7 Thingumy and Bob
  • 8 The Trial of the Groke
  • 9 Snufkin's Leaving
  • 10 The Ruby
  • 11 The Great Search
  • 12 The Party
  • 13 Hobgoblin Arrives At the Party
  • 14 The Voyage
  • 15 Attack of the Hattifatteners
  • 16 The Barometer
  • 17 Island Treasures
  • 18 Return to Moominvalley
  • 19 Special Wishes
  • 20 Invisible Child
  • 21 The Cure
  • 22 Christmas
  • 23 Winter
  • 24 Little My Goes Skating
  • 25 Moomintroll and Little My
  • 26 The Lady of the Cold
  • 27 The Winter Bonfire
  • 28 Return of the Sun
  • 29 Ancestor
  • 30 Healthy Hemulen
  • 31 Sorry-oo
  • 32 Sorry-oo and the Wolves
  • 33 The Great Thaw
  • 34 The Fillyjonk
  • 35 Catastrophe
  • 36 Moomintroll & the Dragon
  • 37 Moomintroll's Pet
  • 38 Memoirs
  • 39 The Orphan
  • 40 Hodgkins & the Sailor
  • 41 Edward the Booble
  • 42 Moomintroll to the Rescue
  • 43 The Storm
  • 44 The King
  • 45 Island Ghost
  • 46 Flying Boat
  • 47 The Muddler's Marriage
  • 48 Love Story
  • 49 The Volcano
  • 50 The Island

Series two

First broadcast Mondays to Friday, January to March 1985 on Children's ITV

  • 51 The Haunted Theatre
  • 52 Misabel's Hairdo
  • 53 Emma the Theatre Rat
  • 54 A Night in the Trees
  • 55 Astonished Awakening
  • 56 The Parkkeeper's Surprise
  • 57 The Fillyjonk
  • 58 Creepy Magic
  • 59 The Naughty Woodies
  • 60 Snufkin's Invitation
  • 61 In Jail
  • 62 Tea with the Hemulen's Niece
  • 63 Dress Rehearsal
  • 64 The Performance
  • 65 The Confrontation
  • 66 The Gadfly
  • 67 The Cure
  • 68 The Cocktail Party
  • 69 Cedric
  • 70 Mr. Brisk
  • 71 The Jungle
  • 72 The Tigers
  • 73 The Hunters
  • 74 The Funfair
  • 75 The Hemulen Aunt
  • 76 The Orphan
  • 77 The Vampire
  • 78 The Vampire Escapes
  • 79 The Friendly Vampire
  • 80 The Nice Bat
  • 81 Mamma's Island
  • 82 Mamma's Painting
  • 83 The Terrible Island Storm
  • 84 The Disappearing Moomins
  • 85 The Little Martian
  • 86 The Martian Goes Home
  • 87 The Discoveries
  • 88 The Muskrat's Prediction
  • 89 The Journey
  • 90 The Underground Waterfall
  • 91 The Giant Eagle
  • 92 The Observatory
  • 93 The Rockfall
  • 94 Moomintroll to the Rescue
  • 95 The Village Shop
  • 96 The Dance
  • 97 The Dead Sea
  • 98 Locust Attack
  • 99 The Tornado
  • 100 The Comet

Please note the order above is the correct broadcast order, for when the episodes were first shown on UK Television in 1983. The episode order in the recent DVD boxset was changed, so that the English episodes would match with the German broadcast order, but they were, in fact, different. In the UK, the series ended with the Comet in Moominland story. Series one was shown in 1983, series two in 1985, and both were repeated again until the late 1980s.

Impact and critical reaction

In 2008 the series was listed at number 25 in a list of top 50 children's TV by The Times.[1]

Excerpts from the series have been shown at film festivals in the UK [2] and Japan.

DVD release

A Region 2 DVD boxset was released in 2004,[3] in both English and German editions (both versions manufactured in Austria).

Single DVD releases are also available, which contain English and German episodes. The German episodes have English subtitles and the English episodes have German subtitles.


  • Simon Sheridan The A to Z of Classic Children's Television (Reynolds & Hearn books, 2004, reprinted 2007) ISBN 1-903111-27-7. Contains a long chapter on the making of the TV series, a rare photo of Tove Jansson and an interview with UK series producer Anne Wood.

External links

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