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Have you ever heard of or seen Moomin? Most people do not recognize these hippo-like characters that appeared in comic books and movies, but these characters are a big deal in Finland and Sweden

So, what is a Moomin in Finland?

Moomin is a series of children’s books written in the 1940s by Tove Jansson. The book series became a huge deal in Finland and Sweden, and hundreds of different media portray these characters.

There are TV shows, video games, restaurants, movies, and even 2 amusement parks dedicated to Moomin—one in Naantali, Finland, and another one in Hannō, Japan.

The Beginning of Moomin

So, how did this multimedia that captured the childhood of many Finnish kids for decades start? Let’s talk about the 1940s.

Tove Jansson was a Swedish writer and illustrator. It was just the end of World War 2, and she wanted to write something to entertain kids and comfort them after the war. So she decided to write stories about a family of Hippo-looking trolls and their adventures.

The 1st book, The Moomins, and the great flood was released in 1945, with Moomintroll being the only important character.

Later, more characters were introduced.

A lot of Moomin characters are inspired by Tove’s life. For example, Moomintroll is a self-insert of her. A self-insert is a character who represents the author. The Moomin family represents her family, who had a strong relation with nature. 

Even though Tove died in 1970, a lot of Moomin books are still made. Some of these newer books include activity books and comics inspired by the Moomin movies.

A new book series was also created to teach babies and toddlers about Colors, The Alphabet, and preschool topics using Moomin characters.

In the original Moomin series, there are 9 books.

Who are the Moomins?

In the Moomin books, the main character is Moomintroll.

He is very brave and has a lot of friends; he lives with his parents, Moominpappa and Moominmamma, and an adopted human girl named Little My.

If I was a Moomin character, I would probably be Little My because she is chaotic and very adventurous.

Other characters include Snufkin, who is Moomin’s wise and nomadic best friend (and my favorite character; I even own a plushie of him), who likes Nature and playing the harmonica. Mymble is Little My’s older sister.

More Moomin Fun

Moomin has expanded into more than just books. There are movies, TV shows, comics, museums, restaurants, and theme parks dedicated to Moomin.

An interesting fact is that an album of Moomin music was released in 2013. It featured a lot of popular Finnish singers, including Popstar and Eurovision competitor Johanna Kurkela. 

The Moomin TV series first started out in 1961 as a Japanese anime. Ever since then, more TV shows have been made on Moomin. In the 1970s, a Swedish live-action show was made.

There were also various short film movies about Moomin in Japanese anime. Other countries like Poland, Armenia, the UK, Sweden, and even the Soviet Union have made TV shows, movies, and short films with Moomin.

The most current TV adaption is Moominvalley, which was made in the UK and released in 2019.

Moomin World was the first Moomin-themed amusement park. It is on a small island in Turku, Finland.  You can visit different areas that were shown in the books and Movies.

You can ride on Moominpappa’s boat, see Moomin-inspired ice statues, cook some smores with Snufkin in his camp, and cause chaos in Little My’s Yellow house.

You can even see Moomintroll and his friends. There is also a Moomin World Park in Japan. 

One very special announcement was made in 2021. A Moomin video game will come out soon.

The game will be in Snufkin’s Point of view, and you have to bring harmony to Moominvalley.

Not much is known about this new game, except that it will come in 2024 and that the soundtrack will be created by Sigur Rós, a popular Icelandic rock band.

Hope you enjoy this essay!

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