Beloved local characters get a digital makeover

With an all-star Scandi voice cast and enhanced by stereoscopic 3D digital animation, the Moomin family is ready to continue its conquest of the world via the bigscreen.

Created by Finnish author Tove Jansson in 1945, the Moomins are trolls who look like hippos. Through seven novels, a string of comic books and various TV series, the Moomins have become well known worldwide. They even have their own amusement park near Finland’s coastal city of Abo.

Cannes will host the world preem of feature “Moomins and the Comet Chase,” helmed by Maria Lindberg and produced by Tom Carpelan for Filmkompaniet.

The voice cast is headed by Swedes Stellan and Alexander Skarsgard, Peter Stormare and Max von Sydow. Icelandic rock star Bjork wrote and performs the title song. Carpelan hopes to bring as many as possible of the participating celebs to Cannes for the premiere party.

Carpelan says the film has nothing in common with the Japanese TV series of the 1990s.

“Our film is based on the animated Polish TV series of the 70′s that Tove Jansson herself was involved with,” he adds. “We have all the rights to this material, and we remade it all and remastered it in 3D. We decided on 3D several years ago and had no idea there would be a 3D boom. I could hug James Cameron.”

The old TV series had no dialogue, just a narrator. New dialogue was written for the feature, and Carpelan opted for high-profile Scandi voices for the English version. Stellan Skarsgard voices Moominpapa while his son Alexander plays Moomintroll, Stormare voices Snufkin and von Sydow is the narrator.

With the Moomins already familiar to kids around the world — the books have been translated into over 40 languages — there’s no shortage of merchandising tie-ins. However, “the owners are very keen on keeping their integrity,” Carpelan says. “We were given a free hand, but knew that with this came a lot of responsibility.”

The film will be sold in Cannes by NonStop. Scandinavia is already in the bag with Nordisk handling distribution in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

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