GUTSY ANIMATIONS APPOINTS ANIMA VITAE FOR MOOMINVALLEY PROJECT
The family TV drama will be voiced by a star-studded cast including Rosamund Pike, Taron Egerton and Kate Winslet Gutsy Animations, the Finnish production company behind MOOMINVALLEY, has appointed Anima Vitae as the animation studio for its first two series which will feature 13 episodes each. Anima is one of the leading studios in Northern Europe and Southeast Asia, producing its own feature films as well as working in co-operation with some of the most successful US-based studios from its offices in Helsinki and Kuala Lumpur. It is best known for its feature film Niko & The Way To The Stars, released in the US as Flight Before Christmas, which has been sold to over 100 countries and received numerous awards. The studio was the winner of a highly competitive ten-way pitch process, in which prospective partners were invited to present their thoughts on how to reimagine the beloved Moomin family and friends and present them in a new medium for the next generation of fans. Three shortlisted studios were then asked to produce a short test animation to assess their creative and technical ability to bring the characters in MOOMINVALLEY to life. They were given a character biography of Moomintroll, explaining his strengths, flaws and emotional drivers, and asked to show the protagonist performing a number of standard animation cues such as walking, running and picking up an object. Their task was to communicate Moomintroll’s personality though his movement and body language. MOOMINVALLEY producer and International Emmy® Award winner, John Woolley, explained why Anima was the successful studio: “Anima Vitae's enthusiasm for and understanding of the Moomins was apparent from our first meeting. Being based in Helsinki, many of their team had grown up in Finland and been immersed in the magical world Tove Jansson created from an early age. They clearly understood the importance of reflecting the sophistication and contrasts within Tove's original storytelling; the light and shade, the sunshine and the shadows, the passing seasons. Their animation test exceeded our expectations by far and displayed a sensitive understanding of Moomintroll’s character – as well as being extremely funny!” Head of Animation at Anima Vitae, Antti Haikala, said: ““We are all very passionate about this project so we are extremely happy and thankful to be involved. It has been a great pleasure to start co-working with Gutsy’s super talented team.” The MOOMINVALLEY team includes Creative Director and Executive Producer at Gutsy Animations Marika Makaroff, Oscar®-winning director Steve Box and Emmy®-winning writing duo Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler. The animation is being developed in association with Yle Drama and with the full support of Moomin Characters, the business set up by Tove Jansson and her brother Lars in the 1950s. ENDS For further information please contact Caitlin Allen at Riot Communications on 020 3174 0118 / 07814 403 000 / NOTES TO EDITORS About Gutsy Animations Gutsy is a team of creators and producers who believe that the world is in need of funny, clever, gutsy and – above all – meaningful content. All of its productions are aimed at international audiences and based on a concept of genuine social impact. Cast announced to date Moominmamma – Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, A United Kingdom, An Education) Moominpappa – Matt Berry (The IT Crowd, Toast of London, The Philanthropist) Moomintroll – Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Eddie the Eagle, Testament of Youth) Snorkmaiden – Akiya Henry (Bing, Bottersnikes and Gumble, Noddy in Toyland) Sniff – Warwick Davis (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Life’s Too Short) Mrs Fillyjonk – Kate Winslet (Titanic, Revolutionary Road, The Reader) The Muskrat – Will Self (Shooting Stars, author of Phone and Sky Arts drama The Minor Character) The Ghost – Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, presenter of Travel Man and Crystal Maze) About Moomin Characters Oy Moomin Characters Ltd is the owner, originator and official company responsible for supervising and managing the Moomins' brand, copyright and registrations. The company was started in 1958 by Tove Jansson and her brother Lars Jansson and even today is run by family members. Sophia Jansson, Lars's daughter and Tove's niece, is Chairman of the Board and Creative Director at Moomin Characters. All characters from Moominvalley are registered trademarks. Moomin in the UK A series of major Moomin-themed events and exhibitions have taken place in the UK in 2017, including Southbank Centre’s immersive Adventures in Moominland and Kew Gardens’ Easter Festival. In autumn 2017, Dulwich Picture Gallery will present the first major UK exhibition of work by Tove Jansson – including not only Moomin drawings but also Jansson’s surrealist-inspired paintings of the 1930s and abstract works of the ‘60s, her satirical anti-war cartoons and book jacket designs – and the Moomins will feature prominently at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. A diverse range of quality Moomin products are available in the UK, from new Collectors’ Editions of the original Moomin stories (published by Sort of Books) and a guide to the Moomins, The World of Moominvalley (published by Macmillan Children’s Books), to 100% cashmere sweaters and other accessories from fashion label Chinti and Parker. Moomin around the world In June 2017 the world’s first Moomin Museum opened in Tampere, Finland, presenting 300 of Tove Jansson’s drawings and paintings and 30 Moomin tableaux created by Tove’s partner, the artist Tuulikki Pietilä. Later in the year, a 12-month Moomin exhibition will begin touring major cities in South Korea, and a new Moomin theme park is soon to open in Tokyo.