Beloved Moomins and their creator presented at National Children’s Museum
This fall, National Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C. features a special visiting exhibition from Finland, dedicated to the beloved Moomin animations. In this exhibit, kids can learn about Moomin values, the hugely popular animated series featuring these cuddly
creatures – and the woman behind it all, Tove Jansson. Throughout the autumn, special hybrid programming will be hosted at the Museum and online.
The exhibition presents digigraphs of Jansson’s original artwork, photos of her life, and
episodes of five different Moomin animations.
As part of the annual Kids Euro Festival in D.C., organized by the EU Delegation to the United States, the Embassy of Finland and National Children’s Museum will give out 400 free
tickets to the exhibition on October 10, 16, 17 and 24 (100 tickets/day). For those that are
not able to attend in person, the Festival offers a variety of free online programming for all to
enjoy at home. In addition, special Meet & Greets with Moomintroll, a central character in Moomin books and animations, will be held during the Festival in October.
Throughout the autumn, families can enjoy these special hybrid events at the Museum or
Who is Moomintroll? (Saturday, September 25, 10:30 am EDT)
How and why did Tove Jansson invent the Moomintroll character and how has he changed over the years? Join Minna Honkasalo, who works at the world’s only Moomin Museum in Finland, as she tells the story of how Moomintroll was born. More info.
The Animation behind Moominvalley (Saturday, October 16, 10:30 am EDT)
Join a livestream with director Jay Grace to hear all about how the award-winning Moominvalley TV series (Gutsy Animations, 2019) came to life. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of Moominvalley’s animation. More info.
The Music of Moominvalley (Saturday, November 20, 10:30 am EDT)
Composers Samuli Kosminen and Jarmo Saari share how they made the music for the hit TV series Moominvalley (Gutsy Animations, 2019). Find out the most bizarre instruments that were used. More info.
Christmas in Moominvalley (Saturday, December 11, 10:30 am EDT)
Join us to hear and discuss a lovely Moomin story written by Tove Jansson and learn about the holiday traditions of her native country Finland. More info.
Tove Jansson, the creator of the Moomins, was ahead of her time
Finnish artist and author Tove Jansson is one of the most successful and best-known Finns
of all time. Her books have been translated into more than 55 languages. Jansson wrote her
first Moomin story during the Winter War (1939–1940). She wanted to bring joy and comfort
in the middle of the darkness of war by creating a harmonic fantasy world independent of
time, place or religion: Moominvalley.
Born in 1914, Jansson grew up in a Finland that looked completely different from that of
today. Women had gained the right to vote eight years before her birth and it was not
common for young women to build careers. Homosexuality was considered a crime in the
country until 1971. Despite this, Jansson lived bravely and openly as a queer woman and a
working artist with a successful career. She was an artist full of creative energy, a true cosmopolitan, who embraced freedom in life. The recent biopic of the artist’s life, TOVE
(2020), was Finland’s Oscar candidate at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Moomin stories and animation series have been an immense success in Jansson’s native
Finland and globally. Although 20 years have passed since Jansson’s death, her legacy lives
on, as new generations of children discover Moomins and their beautiful life lessons about
friendship, inclusion, and equality. The stories continue to inspire new adaptations: Finnish
production company Gutsy Animations published the latest Moomin animated TV series,
Moominvalley, in 2019.
About the exhibition
Moomin Animations – Thrills and Cuddles is produced by the world’s only Moomin Museum in Finland where it was first shown two years ago. The exhibition is brought to the United States by the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., in cooperation with the Moomin Museum, Moomin Characters Ltd, Gutsy Animations and National Children’s Museum.
Press visits can be arranged for media interested in experiencing the exhibit. Please contact Meredith Hamme mhamme(at)nationalchildrensmuseum.org for more information.
Find more information about the exhibition online:
Suvi Järvelä-Hagström, Head of Cultural Affairs, Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C.
suvi.jarvela-hagstrom(at)formin.fi (information about the exhibit, interview requests, incl. with Ambassador Hautala)
Minna Honkasalo, Producer, Moomin Museum