‘Moomin Animations – Thrills and Cuddles’ Opens at National Children’s Museum in D.C.

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The Moomins have arrived at the National Children’s Museum – the subject of a visiting exhibition on loan from the Moomin Museum located in Tampere, Finland. The exhibition, “Moomin Animations – Thrills and Cuddles,” showcases the universal values of the creatures, such as equality, inclusion, and respect for nature. The iconic fairytale creatures living in Moominvalley were created by Finnish author Tove Jansson (1914–2001).

Brought to the United States by the Embassy of Finland in Washington D.C., the exhibit, which opened September 3 at the National Children’s Museum, will run through January 9, 2022. This is the first time the exhibition has traveled abroad. It highlights the rich history of Moomin animations based on Jansson’s books and comic strips.

The Moomins are white and roundish fantastical characters with large snouts; the Moomin family and their friends live an adventurous life in the idyllic and peaceful Moominvalley.

“The Moomins always treat nature with respect and live in harmony with the environment,” explained Moomin Characters managing director Roleff Kråkström. “The Moomin values, such as compassion and open-mindedness, are current, independent of time and place, and more relevant than perhaps ever before. As we follow the stories of Moomintroll’s growth and encounters, we can learn more about our own humanity, relationships, and emotions.”

The National Children’s Museum is a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution that serves children and families through science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) focused experiences.

“National Children’s Museum is thrilled to host the international premiere of ‘Moomin Animations – Thrills and Cuddles,’” commented President and CEO, Crystal R. Bowyer. “As a Congressionally-designated institution in the nation’s capital, the Museum celebrates global cultural education, and the values that The Moomins represent.”

In 60 years, numerous Moomin animations have been made around the world. The exhibition shows the evolution of the characters from the first Moomin film that premiered on TV, a German marionette animation film (1959), to the most recent, 3D animation series, Moominvalley (2019), created by the Finnish production company Gutsy Animations. The exhibition includes the best-known Moomin animation, the Finnish, Dutch, and Japanese co-production Tales from Moominvalley (1990), which aired in over 120 countries. On display is also a Polish Moomin animation from 1977 and a Japanese animation from 1969 – prior to this exhibition the latter only aired in Japan.

The exhibition presents Jansson’s original artwork and stills from animations showing the differences and similarities between the original and newer interpretations.

The legacy of Jansson lives on, 20 years after her death with generations of children around the world growing up watching the characters of Moominvalley. In Finland, the animations have been airing for nearly 30 consecutive years, since the early 1990s.

“Tove Jansson is a Finnish icon,” noted Mikko Hautala, the Ambassador of Finland to the United States. “Her works, of which the ‘Moomin’ books are best known, are beloved by many Finns and international audiences alike. The Moomins are gaining more and more attention also here in the U.S.”

“Moomin Animations – Thrills and Cuddles” is based on a 2019 exhibition produced by the Moomin Museum in Finland. The exhibition shown at National Children’s Museum is co-produced by the Moomin Museum, the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., National Children’s Museum, Gutsy Animations Ltd and Moomin Characters Ltd. The exhibition is supported by Finarte and Lovi Ltd.

Source: Moomin Museum

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