Mini-review: Moomins on the Riviera

Directed by: Xavier Picard and Hanna Hemilӓ

Written by: Leslie Stewart, Annina Enckell, Hanna Hemilӓ, Xavier Picard and Beata Harju (screenplay), Tove Jansson (comic strip)

Starring: Russell Tovey, Tracy Ann Oberman, Nathaniel Parker, Ruth Gibson, Stephanie Winiecki (voices)

05 Moomin

Characterised by outlandish comedy and a zany colour palette, Moomins on the Riviera is a lovingly hand-drawn tribute to Tove Jansson’s creations. As with early morning children’s television, an exuberant spirit of adventure far outweighs consideration of structure – even allusions to the Riviera are at first baffling absent.

Yet more mature elements are unobtrusively included too, such as a dog with an identity crisis, Moominmamma’s eye-rolling “aren’t men ridiculous” humour, and a witty metatextual moment.

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Still, the majority of the many laughs are provided by the faithfully cantankerous realisation of Little My, her lines expertly delivered by Ruth Gibson.

Packing more than just an enjoyable madcap caper into its 80 minutes, Moomins argues that personal loyalty has greater value than material wealth. Like the Moomins themselves, this film is charming and endlessly imaginative.